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Âme Jewelry, NYC

Nominee
Âme is a modern fine diamond jewelry brand that uses lab-grown, or ‘Âme-grown’ diamonds which are set in precious metals. Âme introduces an uncompromising point of view to its category with a consciousness towards nature and towards the retail experience worthy of the 21st century. It transcends fine diamond jewelry into the realm of lifestyle and everyday use with the intention to engage, inspire and create a space for emotions. Âme proposes a new order of things: emotions and experience first. Therefore, sensory environments that touch, inspire and create emotional landscapes were explored, and two environments were found most intriguing, one was nature-driven; the forest and the other was culinary-driven. Âme‘s store design is inspired by the values of both, however these values are introduced in a very subtle and abstract fashion and with ample place for interpretation.Âme was conceived as monochromatic which presents it as an open-ended character. The minimal pallet of charcoal black in the NY store renders the jewelry as the centerpiece of the spatial experience.the design alludes to a very informal yet strongly emotional and holistic retail experience. While the forest initiated the spatial quality and the sequence of movement in the store, the culinary world inspired the intimate and personal moments one experiences while engaging with an object of desire. Both worlds are omnipresent in our daily life and both tick our innermost emotions.The reflective surfaces of the store resonate with the spatial and sensorial qualities of the main sources of inspiration; a walk through a forest and culinary-inspired objects of desire. Spatially speaking, reflections introduce a sense of the infinite, an ephemeral presence of borders and the multifaceted layering of reality. Sensory speaking, reflections evoke a sense of magic and a playful fantasy. Once immersed in reflections we are intrigued by the overwhelming kinetic presence of the entire arrangement.The store is located at the heart of the Cast Iron District in Soho; an epitome of American efficiency. The area evolved throughout the 19th century and buildings became cheaper, stronger and faster to build with the ability to reuse the molds for multiple structures. In the context of Âme, one is struck by the beautiful shadows of the undulating details of the cast iron facades. In sunlight they bring out dramatic and sensual shadows, a reminder of the sun’s ability to convey such beautiful tectonic experiences which were completely banished by New York glass architecture. Moreover, they evoke a sense of industrial craft long gone and a sense of human proportions and care. These contextual insights are brought inside the store and infused into the story telling of Âme NY, not as an ‘add-on’, but rather holistically infused with the brand’s DNA.The geometry of the cast iron architecture was stripped to its very essence which resulted in the undulating wall panels which are now in the store. They have a subtle steel presence and an inspiring play of shadows that endows them with an intimate and a sensual embracing feel.Photography by Amit Geron

Baranowitz + Kronenberg Architecture is the interior design and architecture studio of Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz based in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. For the past twenty years, the studio has become renowned for creating hotels, restaurants, and public and commercial spaces that attract modern nomads and locals alike. B+K Architecture has proven able to turn historical landmarks and rough, sometimes inaccessible spaces into instant design classics that are open and welcoming, drawing on the stories of the past. With their unique contextual awareness, they are not only keeping local history relevant but are also serving the needs of global cities of the 21st century.

Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz have developed a narrative-driven mode of developing their designs which gives context and meaning to what would otherwise be a collection of easily forgettable facts, things, and places. They are storytellers. Drawing implicitly on the sensuous connection between life, selves, history, memory, craftsmanship, and experience, the choices B+K Architecture make in every act of design embody this connection in a fresh way.

Among their projects are The Sir Joan Hotel and W Hotel in Ibiza, The Sir Albert, and W Hotel and Spa in  Amsterdam, Sir Victor Hotel in Barcelona, the Mad Fox club and the Duchess Restaurant in Amsterdam, and award-winning restaurants Topolopompo, Jaffa-Tel Aviv, and Pastel Brasserie in The Museum of Modern Art Tel Aviv.

18 YOSEF KARO ST.
TEL-AVIV 6701422
Israel
+972 3 5609914
https://www.baranowitzkronenberg.com/
BARANOWITZ+KRONENBERG
Purple
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