the third bulgari flagship facade by mvrdv


MVRDV completes a luminous facade for the bulgari flagship in shanghai as a celebration of circular design strategies. the glass panels are fabricated with recycled champagne bottles and encased within an art deco brass frame. the project takes influence from a variety of influences and precedents including motifs from the original bulgari store in rome, along with the rich history of art deco which shaped much of shanghai. the recycled green glass suggests a jade-like quality, an homage to the heritage of the chinese city.


watch MVRDV’s process of recycling the glass bottles to fabricate the glimmering facade in the video above.

mvrdv bulgari shanghaigold-colored brass trim heightens the jewelry-like effect of the facade
images © bulgari | @bulgari



the art deco motifs which connect bulgari and shanghai


located in shanghai plaza 66, the bulgari flagship facade marks the third of an ongoing partnership between MVRDV (see more here) and the luxury italian jewelry brand. like the previous designs, the shanghai project makes use of a visual motif inspired by the portals and cornices of bulgari’s first original boutique on rome’s via dei condotti, adopting the recognizable visual identity that now defines its stores worldwide.


in a twist on its previous designs, MVRDV applies this motif beyond the framing of windows — the shanghai façade is mostly windowless. instead, the cornice motif is translated into layered panels that form an art deco-inspired pattern. art deco is a theme that shanghai and bulgari have in common. the chinese city’s status as a key port connecting east and west in the early 20th century led to a rich tradition in this architectural style, while bulgari’s déco collection characterized its jewelry in the same period.

mvrdv bulgari shanghai
at night, a back light illuminates the panels, highlighting the unique textural quality of the glass



reference to precious jade


to close this circle of inspiration, the façade takes on the materiality of fine jewelry with panels that resemble china’s most precious stone, jade. the result is a complex design, with layer upon layer of cross-cultural references — art deco architecture with a jewelry-like quality, combining the best of eastern and western culture. the gold-colored brass trim gives the facade an appearance like jade jewelry.

mvrdv bulgari shanghai
the façade employs the same art deco-inspired cornice motif used across MVRDV’s designs for bulgari



the fabrication process


MVRDV fabricated the panels of the bulgari shanghai facade from compressed green glass, a unique material effect that creates a translucent finish. at night, a backlight behind the panels gives the façade a stunning glow, highlighting the unique textural quality of the glass. the glass is completely recycled, produced at the magna factory in teutschenthal, germany, which specialises in glass treatment.


the project demonstrates the potential of sustainable recycled materials, even in luxury contexts, and takes one step towards MVRDV and bulgari’s goal of store designs that are built using 100% circular economy materials. meanwhile the backlight is engineered to minimize the facade’s energy footprint, using less than half the energy of a typical comparable installation.

watch how MVRDV recycles champagne bottles to create its bulgari shanghai facade
the facade takes on the materiality of fine jewelry with panels that echo china’s most precious stone, jade watch how MVRDV recycles champagne bottles to create its bulgari shanghai facade
detail of the compressed green glass and its translucent finish



project info:


project title: bulgari shanghai flagship

architecture: MVRDV | @mvrdv

location: shanghai plaza 66, china

client: bulgari | @bulgari

completion: december 2021

photography: © bulgari