The Cartier Mansion renovation at the maison’s Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street Manhattan flagship has been completed, with a look that nods to the brand’s long heritage combined with the latest digital technology. The mansion’s recent refresh was led by Paris interior designer Laura Gonzalez, with artists Atelier Midavaine and Etienne Rayssac, who have previously worked with the 175-year-old French luxury brand. Mosaic artists Béatrice Serre and Mathilde Jongquiere, in addition to Brooklyn-based sculptor Peter Lane also contributed to the project.
The technological upgrades include providing access to digital holograms for high jewelry pieces that aren’t housed in the New York mansion. An interactive AR experience on the third floor stationary shelves reveals the inspiration and craftsmanship that are dedicated to the creation of these items. The fourth floor Windows on Manufacturing digital experience provides a glimpse into the horologic expertise behind Cartier’s watchmaking in Switzerland.
“For more than 100 years, we’ve welcomed guests into our home in New York City,” said Mercedes Abramo, President and CEO of Cartier North America in a statement. “After a period of refurbishment, we’re delighted to reveal the newest iteration of our Fifth Avenue flagship — a bright, beautiful, modern enhancement — and provide a unique, inspired experience for all who visit.”
Within the ground floor space, natural light complements displays featuring Cartier’s watch and jewelry collections, leather goods and home items. Guests will find the maison’s high jewelry offerings paired with a personalized shopping experience on the second floor, where they may also choose from two lounges for a comfortable respite or to socialize, or a private VIP dining room. On the third floor, by appointment only, clients are invited to meet with a Cartier jeweler to discuss the bespoke items behind live jewelry activations. A fourth-floor service and hospitality space now features a pickup and drop-off lounge, in addition to a tea, coffee and fresh juice bar.
While digital elements have enhanced the shopping experience for New York guests of Cartier, design details speak to its rich heritage. Gonzalez revealed the inspiration for the 28,772-square-foot building’s renovation was to connect Cartier with its New York City surroundings and legacy.
“The Mansion is an iconic address of the Maison, filled with history and anecdotes,” said Gonzalez in a statement. “Our ambition was to [bring] a new dynamic while respecting its past and preserving its soul, which you can still feel very well.”
Featured throughout the space is the Cartier panther, found in different media such as cast bronze, marquetry, lacquered panels, mosaic and a hand-painted silk screen. The iconic panther may even be found in hidden details, as the animal’s rosettes peek out from within the carpet that lines the building’s famous winding grand staircase.
Within the New York Landmark building, which Cartier occupied beginning in 1917, certain nods to the jeweler’s famous clientele have remained intact. These sacred spaces include the Grace Kelly salon, which retained original grotesques that were applied when the structure was built in the early 1900s. Artistic elements featured within the space have also been inspired from specific Cartier jewelry pieces, such as an Art Deco bracelet or the double strand of natural pearls that was included in the payment for the mansion in 1912.