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Project Profile: Miroglio Architecture + Design

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Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry…A Jewelry Box

This tiny project involved designing an entire full-service, high-end jewelry store that would fit within an existing 10 ft. by 11 ft. closet located in a new hotel in Menlo Park, California. Yes, the space was originally intended as a coat closet, but as construction of the hotel neared completion, it became available as a retail venue.

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Additional challenges were a construction schedule of 18 days and a microscopic budget. Given the formidable task of including all the functional requirements of a retail jewelry store into this miniscule space, the primary goal became simply fitting everything in (and still having room for jewelry and customers).

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The design idea for the project was to make the space’s tiny size a highlight rather than a drawback. The display fixtures were designed to envelope the store’s guests, providing a three-dimensional experience not unlike that of being inside a jewelry box. The one gesture intended to diminish the space’s claustrophobic size was the introduction of a mirror on the entire back wall, doubling the perceptual size of the store, as well as intensifying the rhythmic pattern of the wall vitrines.

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Given the extreme time constraints for the construction schedule, the store was built almost entirely off-site. The store had to be planned almost like a Chinese puzzle –everything had to be multifunctional. The display vitrines which line both sides of the store are used for display, storage, and presentation of the jewelry. They feature not only interior display lighting, but also built-in general overhead store lighting. The central table functions as a consultation table, a display case, and a cash/wrap. The rear counter features display, a custom cash register drawer, storage, security system computer, and a safe.

Signage also presented a formidable challenge for the project, as the hotel would only allow one small sign for the store, adjacent to the store’s entry, off the hotel entrance foyer. While the hotel would not allow a sign there, it would allow “art” in the lobby. Therefore we extended two of the display cases through the wall, functioning both as “signs”, showcasing the store’s jewelry, as well as windows into the store.

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