• harvey-nichols-devanture

Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, Londres
Architecte : Christian Biecher


Applying leaf in the English style

In 2010, London’s big trendy department store asked architect Christian Biecher to redesign its 4th storey dedicated to luxury and women’s fashion. The architect imagined an ultra-contemporary space by choosing to cover the many supporting posts with facetted diamond-shaped structures and graphically-shaped niches to showcase clothes and accessories.

A brand new way of laying aluminium leaf

Christian Biecher asked AC Matière to come up with a silvery finish for these decorative structures without altering them, while maintaining the contemporary spirit of the place. The brief entailed finding a solution to achieve an impression of height under the lowering ceilings (2.5m). A lengthy period of work on samples was necessary to find an original and exclusive way of laying aluminium foil: the neo-geometric shapes designed by our workshop from the small, extremely thin squares enhanced the facetted structures with nice, crisp angles and created fascinating reflections, more subtle, and not as cold as mirrors.

The 450 m2 ceiling, zigzagged with light strips, was also covered with aluminium leaves. A significant challenge was to integrate the numerous technical elements inherent in a building open to the public (sprinklers, smoke exhaust valves). Another challenge was varnished this ceiling in one night…

These effects, which successfully passed the tests carried out by the security departments (anti-fire standards, flame propagation speed, etc.), totally transformed the perception of volumes: the space seemed vaster, while the choice of aluminium leaf adds subtle warmth to the whole atmosphere.