MIAMI – Amidst streets filled with world-renowned designer shops, fashionable art galleries and packed trendy eateries, Officine Panerai opens its first Patricia Urquiola-designed flagship store located in the Miami Design District.
Within a vibrant Palm tree-filled plaza, visitors stroll by a clear glass geodesic dome standing proudly in the courtyard’s heart, before arriving to an equally transparent façade revealing an interior filled with decadence.
Urquiola aligns the interior closely to the technical codes of the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer and ensures the boutique not only embodies historical legacy but offers a refined experience for the company's distinguished customers. Upon entering, customers sit in soft camelback-coloured chairs, whilst a series of watch models display inside bronze brushed walls.
At the centre of each level's ceiling hangs a series of metal and gold-finished chandeliers. Constructed by suspending disks, rings and lamps, the ornate lighting makes a clear reference to the functional components that drive Panerai's watches, a motif that carries on throughout the scheme of the boutique’s interior. Veined marble, bronze and wooden materials adorning the store's surfaces are a tribute the brand’s Florentine origins. The brand's supplementing of precision instruments to the Italian navy during the 1950s is translated into a subtle nautical theme.
To avoid dwelling on the past, Urquiola found an appropriate link to the future with the addition of a private gallery. Designed to host high-profile clientele collectors, the second storey space balances tradition alongside modernity by offering an exhibition space for contemporary artists. The Spanish-born, Milan-based designer hopes the luxury watch store will 'become a meeting point not only for Panerai lovers but as well a showcase for designers and artists that have the same attitude for research and quality.'
Photos Marco Craig