Located in the city’s central business district, the all-white industrial showroom was created by the Phillip Island-based firm for Melbourne jewellery designer Cushla Whiting.
The space features whitewashed walls, concrete flooring and exposed beams and pillars.
The “floating” boulder display cases are installed across one half of the open plan showroom, while the other half is given over to office space with bright yellow desks and a conference table surrounded by stools for meetings.
The office can be divided off from the showroom by lowering a series of mustard-coloured curtains that hang between pillars.
Arranged in a layout inspired by astrological constellations, the display cases are made up of granite boulders mounted on poles and encircled by transparent tubes. Items of jewellery are arranged across or mounted within the boulders’ surfaces.
The clear tubes that shield the displays slide up and down on counter-balanced weights so that showroom staff can easily access them.
Richard Stampton Architects said that the idea to use granite boulders stemmed from time spent on the coast of south-eastern Australia.
“Common across our southern latitude in Australia are incredible ancient white quartz-laden granite boulders,” explained Stampton.
“They usually form the raised headlands as bookends to the white sand beaches – sand made from the erosion of the same boulders, but they also form larger hillsides and outcrops within the dense scrub.”
“During the night moonlight reflects off the quartz flecks producing a slow-motion disco, emphasised by the dark backdrop of tea trees,” Stampton continued.
“Experiencing this jewel-like phenomena led us to further dreams, thoughts and then research into the formation of gems, geological time, and cosmology. We studied the work of Danish artist and former geologist Per Kirkeby – a long time reference for me.”
Stampton said that the positioning of the display cases is designed to subconsciously remind customers of the geological and cosmological principles behind the formation of the precious gems that Whiting uses to make her jewellery.
“The cosmological arrangement of the floating boulders are clearly a reference to the astrological arrangements, simultaneously organic and with hidden order,” continued Stampton.
“This order allows Cushla’s customers to meander through and around the displays viewing her work and, hopefully subconsciously reminded of the preciousness of gems by the prehistoric rocks.”
In Los Angeles, this light-toned jewellery showroom by local studio Early Work features bespoke polished brass and white oak display cases.
Photography is by Rory Gardiner.
Architect: Richard Stampton Architects
Builder: Supa Dupa Industries