OHLAB plays with illusory golden effects in the new Relojería Alemana in Majorca.
The Madrid practice OHLAB founded by Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver was commissioned to design this the fifth shop of the legendary wrist watch retailer Relojería Alemana based in Majorca, a jewellers with more than a century of experience which has just opened a new shop at Port Adriano, a marina on the western side of the island recently designed by Philippe Starck.
The interior design has been organised around five ‘precious jewellery boxes’, large volumes clad with panels of gold coloured stainless steel with a mirror finish. The cutting of the panels was slightly deformed by the architects by creating rounded joints that produce subtle deformations over the length of the orthogonal boxes. These in turn generate deformations over the reflected surfaces.
The lighting source of the interior is from a back-lit white fabric covered ceiling which as well as providing an intense and homogenous illumination avoids reflections on the gold boxes below thus emphasising the distortion effect.
Horizontal openings within the boxes located at eye level contain the display cases that focus attention both inward and outward.
There are five volumes in total distributed over the shop creating a VIP zone, a small office, a temporary art exhibition space as well as a lounge.
Three of the boxes are accommodated within and two are located outside which continue the gallery exhibition space over the external terrace.
The project reflects on the world of luxury based on a game of superficial appearances where things are not necessarily as they first appear, where the orthogonal boxes seem curved and distorted while the marina setting with its yachts are reflected in all their splendour.
Technical InfoArchitects and interior designers: OHLAB / oliver hernaiz architecture lab Team: Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver, Rebeca Lavín, Walter Brandt, Marta Diego y James Hull. On site: Paloma Hernaiz, Jaime Oliver
Photos: José Hevia
Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver are the directors of OHLAB, an office based in Madrid dedicated to urban planning and cultural research into contemporary society through design, architectural and urban strategy commissions. Before founding OHLAB they worked for nine years together in New York, Shanghai and Beijing collaborating with prestigious practices including OMA / Rem Koolhaas.
Having studied at ETSA in Madrid and Barcelona respectively they are both post-graduates with a Masters in Architecture (MSAAD) form the University of Columbia of New York. Currently they are coordinating teachers at the IED Madrid, as well as having been involved with the “La Gran Escala” Masters organised by the UPC, Barcelona. They have been invited critics on various panels including Princeton and Columbia, New York and the Universidad Europea of Madrid. They have presented lectures regarding their work at different centres such as the Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya, the Universidad Europea de Madrid and the Bilbao Guggenheim museum.
OHLAB has recently been nominated for a Mies Van der Rohe Award 2011 (Contemporary Architecture award given by the European Union), listed for an Arquia Próxima Award 2010/2011 (fundación caja de arquitectos) and finalists for the Saloni 2010 Architecture and Interior Design Awards.