"A Silvera store is first and foremost a place of culture, where iconic and contemporary design come together".
Designed by Jouin Manku in 2007, the Silvera Wagram store in
Paris marked the beginning of a close friendship between Patrick
Jouin, Sanjit Manku, Paul and Brigitte Silvera. Patrick Jouin has also
designed a variety of objects for French manufacturer COEDITION,
which was founded by Samuel Coriat and Paul Silvera.
In 2017, the eminent French distributor sees the opening of
his first store over the Channel, on the King’s Road in London’s
Chelsea. Paul Silvera called on Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku for
the conversion of two storeys of this archetypal London townhouse.
The challenge was to preserve the identity of the brand while clearly
distinguishing this new space from the Paris salesrooms. With
this in mind, the designers worked to keep the original details of
the architecture – revealing brickwork, conserving roof lights and
basement lightwells – while giving it all a touch of the theatrical.
Wandering down the King’s Road in the heart of Chelsea,
passers-by come upon a huge glazed shop front, enticing them in
to the Silvera universe.
An exhibition space for a changing range of objects of different
scales, the interior architecture has cleverly managed the brief.
The store comprises different types of spaces for different needs,
accommodating a variety of requirements.
Visitors come into a large, luminous space, where they are greeted
by an imposing object that soars up to the ceiling and structures
the entire space. Simple in form and construction, this sculptural
structure is made up of articulations of superimposed cubes of thin
sheets of stainless steel, folded and soldered together, that hide
away the purely functional to reveal the exquisite.
A library of objects:
An invitation into the world of Silvera, bookshelves made of long
planks of stained oak run around the walls of the shop, leaving the
building’s structural brickwork visible. Bespoke designed, these
extensive surfaces are used to exhibit a number of objects. Making
the most of the high ceilings, the upper shelves are transformed
Some 164 moulds, vases, plates and other pieces of crockery
picked up from France’s Manufacture de Digoin are backlit behind
stretched Batyline fabric to create a projection of their silhouettes.
This lyrical display of marvellous objects is a reminder, across the
Channel in London, of the history, skill and spirit of French design.
An intermediary space forms a sort of exquisite jewelry box for the
display of the most precious objects; this in turn leads on to further
rooms, which are bathed in natural light from above.
Passing beneath the roof lights, the visitor comes to two salons,
designed to feel like a residential interior, which in turn lead to a
winter garden, an orangery.
A staircase like a chair display:
A large oak staircase leads off the intermediary space, making the
descent down into the basement something quite spectacular. An
important architectural feature, the staircase extends out to form a
chair display and exhibition area as it comes down into a spacious
gallery and a private salon.
The basement lightwells have been preserved and enclosed by
glazed flooring to bring light into this lower level, forming eight little
alcoves perfect for the display of iconic pieces.
The same materials are used throughout, a selection of minimalist
and untreated concrete, oak, felts, Batyline, leather and brushed
brass, discrete enough to let the Silvera family’s carefully chosen
design objects speak for themselves.