Program: Diamond Retail
Location: Pjazza Tigne, Sliema, Malta
Status: Completed 2020
Project Management: DPM Malta
Photography: Alex Attard
Text: Ann Dingli
Located within a busy shopping centre in a dense Maltese seaside town, Art Diamond offers an alternative to conventional diamond stores, prioritising neutrality and lucid customer flow over ostentation.
Its shop-front opens onto a bustling piazza, encouraging inclusivity through unencumbered entrance and browsing. Vitrines work as diminutive galleries, with each product given its own dedicated viewing field. The store evokes a museum vernacular, favouring diffused light and spacious browsing areas over crowded product display. Custom cabinets double as spatial landmarks, directing users through curated zones. A minimal material palette reduces waste and streamlines manufacture, with its local Gozo hardstone being quarried only a few miles away. The store’s brand rejects fast-fashion, favouring quality, enduring products – this reflects in the interiors, with material and composition quality ensuring longevity.
The store offers varied levels of functionality and privacy. Initial spaces are open, furnished with seating as casual sales points. At the rear, a private laboratory-office offers secluded meeting space. A colonnaded corridor links the shop-front and office, with materials shifting from stone, metal and glass to timber and fabric, complementing a more intimate scale. Art Diamond functions less as a store as it does a gallery space. Its muted colours and subtle textures pull focus to the precious stones, elevating them to the realm of art in place of product.