SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2010 > Interior Design

Photo: SCHOTT/B. Pavel

Setting the Stage for Luxury

Visitors to the Boutique Baccarat House are fascinated by the attractive products, as well as the glass floor made of Opalika® from SCHOTT.

Gina Hardbeck

Moscow loves exclusive quality. In fact, no other city in the world is home to so many affluent people. Luxury cars from Porsche, Lamborghini and other vendors dominate the eight-lane Garden Ring, a circular avenue that runs through the center of Moscow. The city on the Moscow River is known for its first class hotels and luxurious boutiques, but also the Kremlin and the many Russian Orthodox churches with their shiny gold domes.

Luxury is also the name of the game on the historic Nikolskaya Street. One of the city’s most luxurious boutiques that even has its own gourmet restaurant is located behind the noble facade of house no. 19–21 with its white pillars and round arches: the “Baccarat House” planned by star designer Phillipe Starck. The Boutique Maison Baccarat is located in the basement. Stucco decorated ceilings and dark colored velvet draperies give the room inside of which every possible dream made of crystal comes true a magical atmosphere.

The products that include everything from candle holders and watches to fine drinking glasses are on display on top of long tables made of glass. Fiber optic lighting from SCHOTT illuminates the crystals inside a display case. The glass fiber harness SpectraFlex® Excel and the SCHOTT Spectra™ MH light source were put to use in the upper section of the showcase. The light shines down on crystals that lie on top of a mirror. This reflects the light so that they not only glitter, but also display their polished sections and purity much better.
The designer Philippe Starck used Opalika® from SCHOTT for the illuminated floor of the luxury boutique Maison Baccarat. This special glass that consists of white glass that is low in iron oxide and an opaque white flashed opal layer helps ensure that the precious crystal creations are accentuated properly. Photo: SCHOTT/B. Pavel
The glass floor of the boutique is also a masterpiece in its own right. It glows and presents the entire salesroom in a clear, bright light. Phillipe Starck decided to use special glass from SCHOTT to create this unique mood. The Opalika® that was used consists of two layers of low iron white glass and an opaque white flashed opal layer fused together using the drawing technique. The glass has the unique ability to disperse light onto an entire surface without actually revealing the positions of the light sources beneath it. This results in a well-illuminated room that sets the stage just perfectly for the exquisite crystals on display.

The third floor of the ”Baccarat House” is every bit as luxurious. A red carpet points the way up the steps to the gourmet temple, the ”Christal Room”. Filigree, standing and hanging crystal chandeliers reflect their light onto impressive mirrors, glass tabletops and finely ground crystal glasses. In keeping with the luxurious design, the restaurant offers culinary delicacies to suit delicate palates. Each day, the chef David Hemmerlé has fresh seasonal produce flown in from France. The distinguished guests drink cappuccino out of sea snails beneath gigantic chandeliers and ceiling frescos framed by stucco and enjoy foie gras flambée surrounded by sparkling crystal. Dinner is rounded off by a selection of fine wines and champagnes. The Moscow branch of the French crystal manufacturer is so luxurious that it even outshines the French parent that was founded in Paris in 1764 and is so rich in tradition. The perfect mixture of traditional architecture, extravagant fittings, exclusive crystals on display and innovative lighting approaches expresses a feeling of Russian noblesse coupled with French savoir-vivre.
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