Hermès has opened its first store in Kuwait City, at the foot of the 412m high Al Hamra tower in a mall which was recently built on the site of the first Kuwaiti cinema, inaugurated in 1958.
With its striking façade featuring openwork metal panels, the 300m2 store reflects the spirit of the Parisian house interpreted by the architecture agency RDAI, (Rena Dumas Architecture Intetieure), which is based in Paris and is responsible for the design of all Hermès stores worldwide.
The design house began in 1837 as a Parisian atelier of harnesses and Saddles and this is reflected in its interiors.
The artistic director on the project was Denis Montel, MD, RDAI who worked with Dominique Hebrard, project architect and assistant artistic director.
The glass wall that surrounds the building is visible from afar and is coupled in its lower part with a metallic skin that hugs the store.
Inspired by moucharaby latticework, its semi-transparency allows customers to look out from within without being seen from inside.
This horizontal weave gives relief to the façade which, at night, is illuminated and appears to vibrate.
The double entrance is framed by two large display windows lined in beige fabric and adorned by a metallic frame designed with the Greek meander motif.
The doors open onto a pale grey floor with a white and red mosaic, evoking that of 24 Faubourg St Honoré, with two matching ex-librises.
Three semi-enclosed spaces have been designed according to a concept of “boxes within a box” and are linked by large, slightly opaque mirrors which act as light conductors.
Several low showcases in glass and cherrywood punctuate the boutique and the eye is drawn by the central structure that displays the Hermessence perfumes and small leather goods.
Further on, is the home of the furniture collection, including reedited pieces by Jean-Michel Frank, arranged on a rug from the Hermès collection.