Hong-Kong-based design firm via. crafts an elegant space for GOUTAL’s first Asian flagship store
As a nod to GOUTAL’s relentless pursuit of perfection, via. creates a new fragrance retail experience by curating the finest materials and furnishings
September 25, 2020
Submitted by Nicole Koo
Photographed by Tan Hai Han
Completed in 2019, La Maison Goutal is the first Asian flagship store for GOUTAL—the French perfume house founded by late style doyenne, Annick Goutal. The retail space encapsulates the longstanding heritage of the brand with experiential elements and tactfully executed aesthetics.
Hong Kong-based architecture and design firm via. was appointed to design the façade and interior space for La Maison Goutal. Located in a shopping district with high foot traffic, the new outlet measures over 3000 square feet, making it the largest GOUTAL store in the world. As the first standalone outlet in Asia, the brief required that the design program communicates the quintessential qualities of GOUTAL, while it also needs to resonate with savvy, well-traveled Asian consumers.
The design team approached the brief with the aim of creating a new retail experience for fragrances. Based on GOUTAL’s brand pillars: stories, imagination, creativity, and art, a new design language was developed. La Maison Goutal was envisioned as a stylish Parisian Maison for its late founder, Annick Goutal. Inside the store, individual spaces are tailored to showcase distinct brand touch points, where digital media and design craftsmanship come together to inspire personalized and social interaction.
The design presents a carefully curated sensory journey, which begins even before one enters the boutique. Taking cues from its Parisian heritage, the street façade pays homage to French architecture with a trio of arches composed of limestone, bronze, and marble. The interior design employs a warm palette of light stones, bronze, and warm woods. Several recurring motifs are included as a nod to GOUTAL’s iconic fragrance bottles, from contrasting fluted and smooth surfaces, to golden wall sconces.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Tondo’s Old Tutuban Main Station goes from rail to retail
A key highlight of the flagship is the floor-to-ceiling “Perfume Organ”—a unique interpretation of Annick Goutal’s work station, which was also inspired by the form of bamboo. The mesmerizing display is constructed with over 600 cylinders, with signature perfumes on showcase. The inside of the ‘Organ’ is created as an intimate dressing room, where a chandelier of entwined gold leaves shimmers against a silver-leaf ceiling and accent furniture. A bespoke carpet—rendered in blue and purple shades to depict gentle water ripples in the night—completes the space with an alluring charm.
The “Story Garden” is where GOUTAL’s tales come to life through digital displays, framed by hand-painted murals by French artist, Ophelia Jacarini that depict stories of the perfumes. The entire space is incorporated with embracing sofas and revolving trolleys to hold scent testers.
The “Sensory Lounge” blends the art of wine tasting with the olfactory experience. The intimate enclave features an impressive U-shaped marble bar with complementing brass stools for an indulgent setting. A sensual palette of magenta—taken from GOUTAL’s Night Bird collection—is used for lacquer shelves, contrasted by metal accessories to achieve a nighttime mood.
The handcrafted furniture collection includes a decorative lotus table made from hand-casted bronze, created exclusively for GOUTAL by luxury furniture maker, Alexander Lamont. Architecture and design firm via. has selected some of the finest materials and furnishings to decorate the interiors, including four types of marble to create the Chevron floor pattern, beige wall paint with gold veins, floral wall coverings, and custom metal hardware. With well-curated pieces, classic finishes, and exquisite materials, via. designed a fragrant space that is a nod to GOUTAL’s relentless pursuit of perfection.
SEE MORE SUBMISSIONS: Sangay Architects offers bamboo, ‘a poor man’s timber,’ for the royalties
Architecture Firm: via.
Firm Address: 12th floor, 23 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Contact email: [email protected]
Lead Architect: Frank Leung
Design Team: May Ho, Michelle Fok, Sally Richardson
Client: Amorepacific Group
Lighting Consultants: Spectrum Design & Associates (Asia)
Photographer’s website: https://chenhaihan.com
Photographer’s e-mail: [email protected]
Video link: https://vimeo.com/376056458
Video credits: Wowwowtank