Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrace

 

Colour as a Narrative

Behind a portal on a Georgian street in London, lives a small grey grotto.
Its rugged walls, imprinted with gestures of the mason’s trowel reveal the eroticism which was conveyed in the act of construction by the ancients.
The pozzolanic ash echoes the volcanic topography from where it was quarried.
As ‘chambers of light’ the three tall openings facing the street orchestrate the light and shadow.
Onto a rough wall: the backdrop for a sweeping semi-circle of thirty-seven irregular glass forms each suspended by a black thread.
Enclosed are colours.
Invisible colours revealed only by the nose.

– Antonino Cardillo

 

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrac

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrace

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrac

 

Sicily-born London-based architect Antonino Cardillo (remember him from this amazing house in Rome) is back with another killer project – a 27sqm jewell of a retail store in London for Illuminum Fragrance, completed in April this year. This is a small but another courageous project by Cardillo, with striking, theatrical qualities, which literally made me stop in my tracks.

Designed to feel as an “Apollonian and Dionysian grotto”, this project conveys a dualistic quality. The metrics, which structure the cavities of the grotto, portray the idea of the rational (Apollonian). The round and roughly textured surfaces investigate the idea of the irrational (Dionysian).

Beyond the three windows facing the street, the room appears semi-concealed. The spaces in front of the windows are derived by combining the two perimeters of the new boundary and the existing walls of the building. These reference two diverse ratios: the 1:2 of the existing windows to the 1:4 of the new gaps which interrupt the ephemeral room perimeter. They represent the place where light is interpreted before being introduced into the main room, and painted in a muted green colour which adapts itself to the hue of the sky and the light. Inside, the small mirrors adjacent to the windows create a dialogue with the weather outside. Each textured surface interprets the light dispersed from the three windows, enabling the architectural void to resonate with the waves of light across it’s surface.

 

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrace

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrace

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrac

 

The walls and the ceilings are lined in the Pozzolanic Ash, delivered from the Vesuvius volcano from Naples to London. This mineral dust was widely used in ancient Roman times for building the largest structures of the era, the most famous one being the dome of the Pantheon in Rome.

Stripping away learnt associations built around branding, graphics and ingredients, the all grey interior encourages a more physical and intuitive experience of scent; the components of which are originally sourced from the earth. Fleeting and volatile scents are presented in their own chambers – the olfactory glass bowls, designed by Asakala Geraghty and mouth blown by glass artist Elliot Walker. The ultimate theatre of suspended scents. Cudos.

 

Illuminum Fragrance
41 Dover St, Mayfair, W1S 4NS, London, United Kingdom

 

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrace

Antonino Cardillo Illuminum Fragrance Shop London | Yellowtrace

 


[Photography © Antonino Cardillo.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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