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New store design unveiled for Maison Birks boutiques, Canada

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Montreal-based architectural practice, Sid Lee Architecture, has designed the Maison Birks boutiques project. Completed in 2013, the luxury jewellery stores can be found in Quebec and Ontario in Canada.

The architectural practice worked with the luxury jewellery brand to redesign their visual identity and redefine the stores boutique experience. The jeweller, which was founded in 1879, currently has 53 stores across North America.  And the wwo new boutiques were built simultaneously, and were officially opened for business in September 2013. The luxury jewellery brand will roll out the new store designs across its retail outlets in 2014.

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The two new stores carry the Birks collections of jewellery, offering customers a selection of prestige, fashion jewellery as well as stunning designs from the diamond and bridal collections boasting Canadian diamonds as centre stones. Four new Birks collections, introduced last fall across Canada, were met with much success. Inspired by Birks’ design heritage and Canadian roots, another 16 new collections will be introduced this year.

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Martin Leblanc, architect and partner at Sid Lee Architecture, said: “The starting point of the project was the iconic little blue box. When held at an angle, the box becomes a kaleidoscope. When you look through it, you’re transported inside the brand’s universe. Maison Birks considers that our natural environment constitutes a jeweller’s raw material, inspiration and tools. The kaleidoscope, as well as its projection, the diamond, therefore became the platform from which Maison Birks’ contemporary expression developed itself, and which establishes its new promise: Bring life to the elements.”

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In line with this new identity, the boutique experience was completely reviewed, with three strategic aims in mind: the elements, the meeting, and the experience. These three key words are reflected in stores, first in the façade, made up of an imposing metallic white curtain which create a textured play of light inside the boutique during the day and on the street in the evening, similar to the lighting effect at the bottom of an ocean, or to daylight coming through the leaves of a tree.

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As for the experience, the traditional ‘behind-the-counter’’ sale method was reviewed in order to elicit a more personal experience. The experience as a whole needed to convey accessibility, warmth and prestige. The process was therefore structured around the different collections, and around one central element delineated by a red diamond on the floor and a chandelier composed of lenticular lenses, similar to those used to examine diamonds.

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“It was a thrilling experience to work on a new concept for the Maison Birks brand, a truly iconic Canadian company,” said Martin Leblanc. “Our team worked on an exciting design that is sure to impress and surprise consumers. We were given the challenge to reinvent and refresh the value proposition of the traditional jewellery store, and we believe the finished product offers exactly that,” he added.

Images courtesy of the architects

About

Assif is a luxury travel and design aficionado currently working as a BBC content producer. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please. His favourite trips include island hopping in the Seychelles, a mountain escape in Kashmir and getting lost in Hong Kong.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

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December 16, 2013 | Property | View comments

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