Céline Mount Street, London
There’s a far bigger story to the Céline store on London’s Mount Street than just the clothes and bags that I painfully coo over. Retail design is receiving far more press than ever before, with the likes of Joseph Dirand for Givenchy (he’d design my summer house) Peter Marino for Chanel and now this new Céline Flagship, designed in-house by the Creative Director Phoebe Philo and her team. We have a new jewel in the crown (well there are semi-precious stones inlaid into the floor) for this street which holds so many memories for me.
We’ve been waiting for over a year to see behind the construction of this plot, of course it had to be spectacular. Designed to uphold the “respect for fine craftsmanship, rare raw materials, research and innovation the house is known for” this incredible 3,300 sq ft of retail space is frankly so incredible because of it’s striking marble floor. A patchwork of 12 different types and colours of marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones. These are the kinds of stories and details that I want to hear about.
A shot of the crumbled marble at Budra in Italy (AKA the before shot).
Quite off the radar even to the most knowledgable of designers is Budra, a marble company based in Mirandola, Northern Italy. Last May the Emilia Earthquake caused enormous damage to the region, and to the companies stock of marble slabs, and most precious stones in their warehouse.
The creative generosity of Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola saved the company from a devastating turn of events, by creating the Earthquake 5.9 collection. A collection of furniture and coverings in marble and onyx, created using hundreds of fragments of quake-struck slabs to create something beautiful, injecting life back into something that had been totally destroyed in the space of a few seconds. It was Budra who created the floor at Céline in London. Just as when Stella McCartney’s first stores opened everyone went mad for the oak parquet flooring, but I’m sure very few knew it was a product from her husbands furniture brand, Established & Sons. Created by Israeli designer Yael Mer and British designer Shay Alkalay there could be no better exposure for the brand and this design that had been selected to be rolled out across her stores worldwide. I can only hope this is the case for this small Italian marble company, so worthy of more accreditation following years of incredibly skilled work. These examples below show just a few variations and possible applications for her wall panelling and flooring designs.
Above, a flooring detail, below, wall panelling.
Back to the Céline for some more credits though. Danish artist Thomas Poulsen (FOS) who is represented by Philo’s husband Max Wigram, has also collaborated on the design, creating a series of unique, specially commissioned objects for the store with a collection of display units, furniture and hardware.
If the flooring is a bit of a stretch, the shelving units (you could them in multiples and hang together) or the Origami tables could be a tad more affordable (to some).
It’s an incredible space, with a fascinating story. I only hope that when people visit the store and enquire about the floor the guys and girls there know there stuff. It’s a story that should be shared.
Images ℅ Celine & Budri