The Rosenblat Jewelry Showroom is located in a former carriage-house in the historic Pöseldorf section of Hamburg, Germany. The client, an established jewelry designer renowned for her design with one of a kind gems, was looking for an intimate environment to house her collection together with her showroom, design studio, office, and a small apartment. The interior has been thoroughly reconfigured within the existing landmark carriage-house shell which required extensive restoration and repair.
The showroom presented the unique possibilities and challenges of displaying jewelry: highlighting precious gems through the development of atmospheric light and the need for security while maintaining a sense of openness and accessibility. The display cases were conceived as miniature mis-en-scenés carved out of a masonry wall in the showroom and united by a 40-foot-long American walnut shelf. Recessed fiberoptic lighting and a sliding groove allow the line of glass to float freely in front of the display wall creating the sensation of a suspended optical plane.
Gabellini Sheppard Associates’ design concept for the showroom was to create an elemental environment complementing the refinement of craft and detail found in Rosenblat’s hand-made jewelry. To complement the precious stones and metals on display, the palette is expressed with four refined materials: imperial plaster, honed Spanish limestone, translucent optical glass and select wenge heartwood. Each material was chosen for its chromatic uniformity and its light absorption, against which the precious gemstones radiate. In addition, American walnut designed by George Nakashima Woodworkers is introduced in the built-in and free-standing furnishings, as an fluid counterpoint to the otherwise geometrically pure rooms. The space parallels many of the designs of the client, where rough-cut stones are placed in crisply crafted settings.