Claus Porto, a 131-year-old luxury beauty and fragrance brand from Portugal, has opened its first international store -- In New York City's Nolita neighborhood.
Located at 230 Elizabeth Street in Manhattan, the 550 sq. ft. retail space is designed to make an impression. Conceived by tacklebox architecture under the direction of Jeremy Barbour, the store's design pays homage to Portuguese architecture and craftsmanship.
It features a 42-ft. long freestanding archway -- milled completely from Portuguese cork. This futurist tunnel has a carved surface of 1,500 faceted diamond "tiles," which is a subtle reference to the facade of the Casa dos Bicos building in Lisbon, as well as Porto's historic São Bento train station with its arched portals and decorative azulejo tile that line its arrival hall.
Claus Porto's Flagship store is in Porto, Portugal, with a second outpost in Lisbon, on Rua da Misericórdia.
Cork is a raw material indigenous to Portugal, and the country is responsible for roughly half of the world's production. It is environmentally friendly, and comes directly from the cork tree. Its bark is harvested in a process that does not harm the tree, but is a vital process to its reinvigoration.
A monolithic washbasin sits at the heart of the store's "tunnel," and is a nod to the baptismal font and a celebration of the ritual of daily cleansing. The basin was carved from the same large block of Estremoz marble used for the basin in Porto's Flagship Store. Marble is a natural stone with Portuguese origins that's very representative of the country's traditions and craftsmanship.
Claus Porto is in 60 countries, and the brand is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom in the United States; and online at Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter.
Photo courtesy of Claus Porto