Spanish firm External Reference was approached by experimental jewellery designer Adriana Manso to create a distinctive interior concept for her inaugural brick-and-mortar store in Barcelona. Informed by the architectural style of Catalan-modernist buildings, the studio employed 3D-printed shelving structures to serve as functional and visually captivating elements within the store.
Combining the floral elements of the impressive modernist façade with the contemporary plasticity of the brand’s product, the concept realized by Zappulla and his team at External Reference becomes a reinterpretation of classic decorations that highlights the brand’s values, a contemporary blend of craftsmanship, design and technology.
Through 3D-printed pieces exclusively designed for this space, the store’s interior becomes an extension of the exterior. Organic forms take center stage, turning the facade’s ornaments into large rosettes with futuristic glitches and bas-reliefs arranged at different heights, ranging from 90 cm to 1.70 m.
These elements exhibit La Manso’s jewelry and accessories around a small center table, carefully illuminated by adjustable mini-spotlights. Using mirrored surfaces, the space expands, while a neutral and elegant coating establishes an abstract backdrop for the iconic pieces. As part of the exhibition, the jewelry is illuminated to highlight the uniqueness of each piece, creating an intimate and deliberate atmosphere that invites exploration and the discovery of the perfect item. In addition, the store has a small showcase that, following the wishes of the owner, recovers the style of the mythical jewellery stores, where who goes for a walk can observe the objects in total freedom from the street.
The conceptual design extends to the street by repeating, mirroring, and reinterpreting the brand’s logo, infusing it with the three-dimensional elements present in the interior’s creative language. In the detail of the sign, strategically placed under the corner bow-window that embraces the surrounding streets with its decorations, a coherent visual connection is established between the interior space and the urban environment.
External Reference, as in its long history of exploring new 3D printing technologies applied to design and architecture, has relied on the experience of LaMáquina to create the custom-made furniture for this project.
The expertise and innovation of External Reference align with the experimentation of contemporary brands like La Manso in the first flagship store—a new space where tradition and modernity converge to bring to life unique and memorable experiences.