The fine jewellery, watches and best bags are displayed in an intimate area, with lacquered wall panelling and partitions clad in dark woven copper, linen and wool. 'This was my way of responding architecturally to the gorgeous materials of the bags.'
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Louis Vuitton's epic new London 'maison' has just opened its doors on New Bond Street. Entered via a bridge over a 'moat', its four outrageously luxurious floors include a VIP apartment, a 'librairie' of limited edition art and art books, revolving handbag installations and artworks by all the big guns, from Damien Hirst to Gilbert & George. You name it, this store's got it. Here, the architect behind this temple to luxury - Peter Marino - takes us on a tour.
'I spent five years pouring my heart into making the Champs-Élysées store have all the bells and whistles, only to be told that the London maison had to be even better,' says Marino.
This new, 1,500 sq m palace certainly gives the flagship maison a run for its money, pioneering a number of firsts for Louis Vuitton, including the VIP apartment. It's also London's largest single-brand store.
Here, the brand is even commissioning and selling limited-edition artworks by the likes of Anish Kapoor and Gary Hume. But more of that in Wallpaper's July issue...