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Maison Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels - Ginza

Transparency play

The year 2016 is an important one for the ongoing relationship between Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku and Van Cleef & Arpels. Following the inauguration of a new boutique on Place Vendôme in Paris, their collaboration travels to Asia – Tokyo. The Ginza neighbourhood, considered one of the most elegant and prestigious addresses in the country, now boasts an emblematic new, three-storey boutique.
Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku provide a new reading of Japan's traditional arts and the finesse of local craftsmanship in these new premises.
Quite subtly, they have reinvented their take on the world of Van Cleef & Arpels, extending their creative process by embracing architecture, interior design and furniture design.
The interior is a homage to Japanese architecture. Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku work with the idea of transparency, a notion that is very present throughout Japanese culture. The walls of the ground floor and mezzanine are clad in lightweight panels. Behind almost diaphanous fabric stretched over a timber structure, oval-shaped green enamel decorations shimmer like leaves, as though nature had reclaimed its place at the heart of the boutique. The effect is immediate: one moves through the calm and serene space with muffled steps, quickly leaving the noisy city behind.
The area at the foot of the stairs provides pause for thought: a curved display case holds an installation of glass cylinders, partly smoked, partly polished, which diffuse a gentle light. The choice of materials echoes the sophistication of the pieces of jewellery displayed in the rounded, crystalline display cases: ash-patinated wood, fabrics in shades of beige and gray, white lacquer and beige rugs.

This wooden frame, draped in an almost diaphanous fabric, reveals oval-shaped green enamel decorative elements... as if nature were reclaiming its rightful place inside the boutique. The effect is immediate: with hushed steps, you move into a space of softness and serenity, making you forget the murmur of the city. The choice of materials reveals refinement, echoing the finesse of the jewellery on display in rounded, crystalline showcases: ashen wood, a cameo of grey and gray fabrics, white lacquer and beige carpets.


The vibration of the façade

Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku are working on an architectural concept for a façade to carry the brand's banner across the entire height of the building, creating a strong distinctive sign. The two designers took the diamond-shaped hallmark of the Maison and drew a graphic motif from it, creating an airy aluminum mesh. This mesh, like a very light veil, can also be found inside the boutique.
Outside, reflecting the sun and city lights, it seems mobile, glittering. The patterns become more scattered as the eye moves down towards the store's front door. Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku's atypical storefronts let light into interiors, while protecting spaces with a warm intimacy.
In this project, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku call on their exceptional know-how to revisit a House whose codes they know perfectly well. In this way, they gently settle Van Cleef & Arpels into a new environment far removed from its roots, without creating any dissonance with the House's identity. The two designers have shown themselves to be attuned to the local culture, and this is how they manage to inscribe this subtle project in a city that is both vibrant and gentle.
More than six months of research were required to develop the façade. An initial prototype produced in France enabled the Japanese company Asahi Building-Wall to sand-mold the 6 cm-thick aluminum structure.

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ClientVan Cleef & Arpels

Architectural concept,
interior architecture and design     

Jouin Manku
Sanjit Manku
Patrick Jouin
Mio Shibuya
Jong Kim
Xiao Lin
Martin Kloeckner
Julien Lize
Charles Pons

Architect of recordAXE Design

Lighting designerVoyons Voir 

Craftsmen and companies  
Kabuki (structural work)
Takashimaya Space Create Co. & LTD & SPB (fixtures and furnishings)

Custom furniture
Jouin Manku



Photographies: Van Cleef & Arpels - Ginza - Jouin Manku © Nacasa and Partners
Drawings: Van Cleef & Arpels - Ginza © Jouin Manku