From Russia with Luxury

By Mark Faithfull

Photos by Marco Cappelletti

Russian jewelry and objet d’art brand Amber&Art opened its first flagship store in St. Petersburg, Russia, developed by Milanese studio Piuarch.

Located inside the famous Antonov’s Merchant House—built in 1824 by architect Domenico Adamini—the store has been designed as a fluid space “in which to lose the line between art gallery and jewelry, where Amber is expressed as a jewel, as an object and as an aesthetic atmosphere,” says Francesco Fresa, founding partner of Piuarch.

Rooms display amber objects and various jewels and working techniques, brought together in the central hall, where all the different types of products are gathered. This wide, semi-circular room is characterized by a coffered wooden countertop with a diamond design that is reflected in the geometry of the marble floor.

The hallway has been designed as an art gallery, incorporating cross vaults recovered from the original building, while the glass cases exhibit amber objects laid down on marble pedestals. The store’s VIP room features black and royal blue velvet walls, hand-made chandeliers, checkboard cut marble flooring and a hidden bar in a room that directly overlooks the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, a famous landmark in the city.

These disparate approaches are brought together through a limited number of materials like brass, silk and velvet, and two types of marble. Luminaires providing both direct and indirect light combine with natural light to illuminate the store.

“We have a long history with St. Petersburg,” Fresa says. “When we started work on the Amber&Art concept, we found ourselves absorbing all the aesthetic influences of the old town, its art and historical personality. The location was in a beautiful spot, but the magical look of the interiors is the result of design choices to express the brand identity and create a comfortable experience.”


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