BEAUTY IN THE ABSTRACT
How do you give form to the ultimate abstraction? How do you measure a shapeless thing that measures us all? Time is gigantic—it exists in terms of zillions of light years, in terms of glaciers that carve mountains in the earth. And it’s infinitesimally small. It exists in milliseconds, or at the atomic level. Which is exactly the kind of challenge that sparks Antonioni’s interest. So he set out to devise a conceptual gallery space for the luxury watch brand, Movado, creating an architectural translation of time.
SPELUNKING FOR INSPIRATION
During a recent excursion through a collection of caverns in Arizona, Antonioni realized that the cave-like spaces, carved into the earth by floods over millennia, owe their astonishing beauty to the forces, and ravages, of time. So he headed to his Los Angeles studio, designing the journey through the Movado gallery space to begin as his own Arizonan explorations began—with a crack in a slab of precisely hewn slice of stone.
PASSAGE OF TIME
That opening, both mysterious and inviting, draws visitors along an undulating, sculptural tunnel. Gradually, the tunnel opens into a larger room, a retail space where Movado products are displayed, bought and sold. But as with geological formations whose twists open to ever more astonishing discoveries, a turn in the Movado space leads guests into another room, this one quiet and still, and dubbed the time chamber.
A SENSE OF AWE
In the center of the room, a sun drum marks the passage of time. Wrapped around a wall of smoothly polished Carrera marble, a series of rings hold 60 of Movado’s high-end, limited-edition watches to denote the 60 seconds of a minute, the 60 minutes of an hour. “In those caves, you get the feeling that time has just—stopped,” says Antonioni. “It’s impossible not to be awed by that. And that sense of awe is exactly what I’m going for here.”
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