Gabellini Sheppard was commissioned to create an intimate home for Colleen B. Rosenblat’s jewelry collection, along with her showroom, design studio, office, and apartment. In response to the client’s desires, the firm transformed the 4,500 sq. ft. interior of a former carriage house in Hamburg’s historic Pöseldorf district into what is now the Rosenblat Showroom. In order to preserve the building’s architectural history, the firm carefully reviewed the entire building’s renovation with the city’s landmark community. Renovations began with the implementation of new plaster moldings and roof details based on the carriage house’s original drawings that had been recovered from the city archives. The entire foundation of the building was underpinned and situated upon a limestone plinth forming the ground floor and exterior court, opening into the main showroom through new, full-height sliding doors that flooded the interior with natural light.
Complementing the precious stones and metals on display, the palette consisted of four refined materials – imperial plaster, honed Spanish limestone, translucent optical glass, and select wenge heartwood – each specifically chosen for its chromatic uniformity and light absorption, against which the precious gemstones radiate. The display cases were conceived as miniature mis-en-scenés, carved out of a masonry wall and united with a 40-foot-long American walnut shelf. American walnut designed by George Nakashima Woodworkers was also introduced in the built-in and free-standing furnishings as a fluid counterpoint to the otherwise geometrically-pure rooms. The Rosenblat Showroom provides an elemental environment to both reflect and complement the refinement of craft and detail found in Rosenblat’s one-of-a-kind, hand-made jewelry. Through extensive restoration, repair, and renovation, Gabellini Sheppard successfully brought to life within a historic building a unique innovative display space that parallels the jeweler’s many exquisite designs.
Photography by Paul Warchol.