The 487-sq-m Celine flagship in the city’s Design District looks as lush as the high-end fashions that are sold inside. Almost the entire two-storey shop – façades, floors, walls, ceilings – has been lined, as if with silk, in a pale-blue green Pinta Verde marble from Brazil.

Designer Valerio Olgiati chose this ponderous material for its ability to make visitors feel as if they’re floating serenely amongst the clouds.

The ground floor of the store is dedicated to exhibitions, while the first floor, at the top of a concrete staircase, showcases the brand’s ready-to-wear collections, and features fitting rooms with luxurious floor-to-ceiling curtains. Shoes and handbags are arranged sparsely along minimal shelving without obstructing views of the marble, as well as on low-slung marble podiums and concrete benches that double as display surfaces.

Useless as displays, but sculptural objects in their own right

Olgiati envisioned the Celine boutique as a canopy or pavilion supported by concrete pillars, some of which taper to a point just below the ceiling. Pyramids and triangles – tent or canopy-like shapes – feature throughout the store, giving it a sculptural, textural feel.

Most visible is an acute triangular canopy over the staircase and a four-sided pyramid that emerges from the carpeted floor – both are useless as displays, but are sculptural objects in their own right.

This case study is part of Powershop 6, our survey of the best in retail design around the globe. You can purchase a copy of the book here.