Asprey is an established, quintessentially British, luxury goods brand with a worldwide reputation. The company’s owners sought to expand the brand in a way that would build on the best of Asprey’s heritage, while projecting a bold vision for the future. They commissioned projects on two of the most famous shopping streets in the world – New Bond Street in London and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan – with a mandate to promote the timelessness, values and craftsmanship associated with Asprey’s goods through contemporary design.
New Bond Street has been Asprey’s London base since 1846. Over the years, behind its original premises the company has expanded to occupy five listed buildings. The challenge was to link this disparate group to create a coherent sequence of retail spaces, together with associated offices and workshops. The back of these buildings was an undiscovered world. By clearing away redundant structures, restoring the facades, and covering the space with a glazed canopy, a courtyard was created at the heart of the store. Here a sweeping spiral stair connects the two retail levels and offers changing perspectives of the old and the new. The interiors are characterised by a palette of rich materials – Venetian plaster, stone, hardwoods and leather; and products are displayed in custom-designed display cases.
In New York, Asprey occupies three floors in the base of Trump Tower. With its vertical emphasis, the facade offers a contemporary reinterpretation of Asprey’s iconic London shop front. Brilliant white lacquered recesses behind the glass contrast with the dividing black band of the company’s sign. The entrance is flanked by curved glass windows, which echo bow-fronted Victorian shop fronts, but on a scale unimaginable in the nineteenth century. The entrance opens into a three-storey atrium that expresses a mix of tradition and modernity. The limestone floors and Wilton carpet, the marble staircases with their glass balustrades and bronze handrails, together create a feeling of ease, opulence, light and space.