Vrai & Oro for Diamond Foundry
Retail | Jewelry and Lifestyle
Los Angeles | USA
2017 | Completed

Vrai & Oro, a popular online brand that has made its mark by ushering the clandestine jewelry industry into the light (Vrai & Oro loosely translates to Truth & Gold), has opened its first store in ROW DTLA, a curated lifestyle destination found in downtown LA's Arts District. As a subsidiary of Diamond Foundry, the Vrai & Oro designs use only carbon-footprint-free diamonds produced in a facility in northern California, and all solid gold. For the design, we paired this environmental and ornament-free approach with the company's core values - quality, simplicity and transparency. Found within within the massive 1920's concrete and steel market structure, the store evokes refined simplicity while also expressing the spatial qualities of its surroundings - affording an approachable atmosphere for the customer to focus on the jewelry.

The brand relies on customers who have made lifestyle choices that echo their values, and the store design reaffirms those decisions. The material palette features a toned down selection of brass, vanilla and nero marble, concrete and walnut. Custom designed details are found throughout, such as the linear brass pendants, display cases and curved walnut seating. A compulsory window display has been eschewed and replaced by a walnut bed filled with living plants. Artificial lights are warm white, not the cold variety typically found in jewelry stores - these design choices deliberately reaffirm a philosophy rather than an industry standard. Other features include a warm white wall which curves to envelop the store, bathed in sunlight with bright glimpses of light within its folds, leaving no dark corners in the rear of the space. A tapered beam acts as a subtle threshold for the interior environment. An archway intersects the curving wall, resulting in an unpredictable, yet familiar form that revolves about a circular column. A non-structural element, the large column was designed as a focal point used to influence circulation of multiple visitors within the small shop.

In essence, the design of the store is a vessel within a vessel - a piece of a larger vision of a bespoke lifestyle placed within the walls of a modern industrial relic. Here, the combination of natural materials, the warm white and dark grey surfaces, the beautifully minimal jewelry, and the store's patrons, all exist in comfortable harmony.

Contractor Supervision: Debris Design Lab
General Contractor: Proper Build
Electrical Engineer: Building Solutions Group