What do you think of when you think of mosaics? Something in a museum or art gallery or an over-the-top (in appearance and expense) bathroom or swimming pool? Wrong, according to the master crafters at Sicis, an Italian mosaic manufacturer.
Based in Ravenna, the company’s handcrafted flooring and wallcoverings, furniture and decor recall Italian mosaic masterworks from the 17th and 18th Centuries. The Sicis Jewels store takes mosaic to jewelry and timepieces aimed at a wealthy Turkish shoppers and tourists.
With an existing showroom in Istanbul’s exclusive Nişantaşı quarter, the company decided to carve out a 20-square-meter (about 215 square feet) space in a 90-square-meter showroom for its mosaic-covered jewelry and watches. Precious metals mirroring those found in jewelry mixed with natural floral elements in mosaic-covered surfaces create a luxury-laden space. “We like to believe there is a similarity in making jewelry and in making an architectural product,” says Sicis President Maurizio Placuzzi.
The project was made possible by a collaboration with Kent Yapi 1985, an Istanbul-based business partner. “The biggest challenge,” Placuzzi says, “was to host both a jewelry boutique with small, precious products along with interior design elements, in a showroom originally born to host large furniture and mosaic panels.”
To accomplish this, Sicis’ internal design team, Sicis Lab, designed vertical mosaic panels depicting 19th Century women wearing Sicis jewelry to draw attention to the new collections.
And, true to the company’s fervent belief that mosaic can be laid – appropriately – nearly anywhere, the showroom is dripping with glamour. There’s an entranceway floor embellished with a marble mosaic “rug” in gray tones, sculptural furniture with a mosaic inlay and colorful butterflies captured mid-flight on the walls.
Floral and other nature-inspired elements are no accident. “Sicis is inspired by nature at its most vivacious and spectacular: spring. Multi-colored explosions of budding flowers in precious silk velvet decorate our chairs ... and branches of trees in gold or shiny tesserae decorate our walls," Placuzzi says.
LEDs let merchandise shine, and are arranged in a wide radius around furniture and mosaic displays to maximize illumination. For jewelry, LEDs are placed in a more limited, vertical array to keep the focus on these smaller items.
The result is a store that is metallic and geometric, with a neutral palette that shimmers and sparkles in the crossroads of Ravennan refinement and Byzantine splendor, beckoning the shopper to step inside.
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