Maison Van Cleef & Arpels

Paris / France / 2016

37
37 Love 9,534 Visits Published

Jouin Manku designs a new Parisian showcase for the High Jewelry Maison Van Cleef & Arpels at 20 Place Vendôme, Paris.
Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku draw on traditional skills and cutting-edge technology for their take on a typically Parisian interior, inspired by the Place Vendôme.


The designers selected Paris limestone as their material, treating it as Van Cleef & Arpels’ craftsmen might, starting with a stone and working it up into a design, full of poetry, movement, subtlety and fi nesse.


Van Cleef & Arpels and Jouin Manku have for many years been united in their shared passion for creativity, ingenuity and a certain avant-gardism. This relationship, embodied by the complicity between Nicolas Bos (President and CEO, Van Cleef & Arpels) and Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, is evident in Jouin Manku’s interior designs for the Maison’s emblematic boutiques in Hong Kong, New York and Paris.
The duo is also responsible for the design of five substantial exhibitions dedicated to Van Cleef & Arpels: «The Spirit of Beauty» at the Mori Arts Center, Tokyo; «Set in Style» at the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum, New York; «Timeless Beauty» at MOCA, Shanghai; «L’Art de la Haute Joaillerie» at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; and from April – August 2016, Van Cleef & Arpels: «The Art and Science of Gems» at ArtScience Museum, Singapore. In 2016, all eyes will once again turn to the Place Vendôme, a place synonymous with Parisian elegance and French High Jewellery. Adjacent to Van Cleef & Arpels’ historic Place Vendôme address, renovated by Jouin Manku in 2006, 20 Place Vendôme poses a new creative challenge for the designers.


Diving further into the fundamentals of a Maison that they know well, their task was to deliver a new, unexpected interpretation that would both charm and deliver the sense of wonder so important to Van Cleef & Arpels.


To this end, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku proposed working with the raw material of the Place Vendôme, a public square designed at the end of the reign of Louis XIV by Jules Hardouin Mansart: a perfect octagon all in stone, restrained and geometric. The designers would treat Paris limestone as Van Cleef & Arpels’ craftsmen might, starting with a stone and working it up into a design, full of poetry, movement, subtlety and finesse.


To this end, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku proposed working with the raw material of the Place Vendôme, a public square designed at the end of the reign of Louis XIV by Jules Hardouin Mansart: a perfect octagon all in stone, restrained and geometric. The designers would treat Paris limestone as Van Cleef & Arpels’ craftsmen might, starting with a stone and working it up into a design, full of poetry, movement, subtlety and finesse.


Upon arrival, the visitor’s gaze is immediately drawn to the key architectural feature of the project, the staircase.
Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku’s work is often characterised by a majestic stair. A staircase can give a space a theatrical dimension, and invites further exploration. The stair sets the tone for this new project. A true tour de force, the stair’s technical workings are completely hidden, in just the same way that Van Cleef & Arpels’ famous Serti Mystérieux™ provides an invisible setting for precious stones.


The stair is made of seven large blocks of numerical milled stone, pierced down the middle. A cable suspended through the centre lends the structure rigidity, like a spinal column.
The handrail, meanwhile, gives the stair its presence: made in wrought-iron, another typically Parisian material, its design is inspired by the wings of a butterfly.
Despite the solidity of the material, the structure has an incredible lightness.
Delicacy and transparency, an impression of movement… these are the ideas that informed the design of this unique piece. The stair welcomes the visitor from their very first glimpse, its organic, generous shape inviting them to climb upstairs where they discover a sequence of salons reminiscent of a Parisian apartment. At the foot of the stair, a tall oval display case with an elongated, cut-glass, domed cover plays with the light and the sparkle of jewels.


Upstairs, to balance the mineral presence of the stone and wrought-iron, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku have used a palette of colours from grey to beige, to a subtle sea green. Display cases and ceilings are decorated with a scattering of plant motifs carved in plaster or stone.
The same design is embroidered on the fabrics that cover certain walls and ceilings, a reference to the natural forms that inspire Van Cleef & Arpels’ designs. The series of salons on this upper level align with the arched windows that give impressive views over the Place Vendôme and its column.
The surrounds of these windows are decorated with a relief-work tangle of rustling leaves, filled with butterflies, birds and stars. There is no better light than daylight for appreciating the purity of gemstones, making these salons the ideal private environment for presenting exceptional pieces of jewellery. Meanwhile objects and documents from Van Cleef & Arpels’ archives are displayed in purpose-built cases that line a corridor.
The elegant atmosphere is further enhanced by the furniture, also designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku.


Just as Van Cleef & Arpels’ exceptional pieces can only be made by hand, so it is the combined efforts and skills of the teams engaged by the two designers that have created this sensitive interior where stone is brought to life.
With the help of new technologies, the specialist craftsmen have succeeded in meeting Jouin Manku’s design challenges – a genuine demonstration of the role designers play in the evolution of skills. The convergence of the designers’ vision with an exceptional level of craftsmanship has enabled the creation of a space that brings exquisite jewellery into a contemporary realm, with an unmistakeably Parisian identity.

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    Jouin Manku designs a new Parisian showcase for the High Jewelry Maison Van Cleef & Arpels at 20 Place Vendôme, Paris.Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku draw on traditional skills and cutting-edge technology for their take on a typically Parisian interior, inspired by the Place Vendôme. The designers selected Paris limestone as their material, treating it as Van Cleef & Arpels’ craftsmen might, starting with a...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Work finished in 2016
    • Contractor Lefaure et Rigaud
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Showrooms/Shops
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