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Colour as a Narrative

, London

Project for the perfume shop Illuminum on Dover Street in Mayfair ward with grey rough plaster and silk carpet plus olfactory glass bowls

Colour as a Narrative

Behind a portal on a Georgian street in London, lives a small grey grotto. Its rugged walls, imprinted with gestures of the mason’s trowel reveal the eroticism which was conveyed in the act of construction by the ancients. The pozzolanic ash echoes the volcanic topography from where it was quarried. As ‘chambers of light’ the three tall openings facing the street orchestrate the light and shadow. Onto a rough wall: the backdrop for a sweeping semi-circle of thirty-seven irregular glass forms each suspended by a black thread. Enclosed are colours. Invisible colours revealed only by the nose.

Colour as a Narrative

Colour as a Narrative

Colour as a Narrative

Colour as a Narrative


  • Time: Feb 2014–March 2015 (design), March–April 2015 (construction), April 2015 (photography), 2017 (demolished)
  • Place: Illuminum Fragrance, 41 Dover St, Mayfair, London, UK
  • Area: 27 m² (one storey)
  • Typology: shop


  • Architecture design, construction management: Antonino Cardillo
  • Olfactory glasses concept: Asakala Geraghty
  • Client: Illuminum Fragrance (director: Keith Hamilton; art director: Asakala Geraghty)

  • Construction company: Italian Art Design Ltd.
  • Masonry: Adrian Paiunui Mihai, Fabio Di Monte, Gianmarco Di Monte
  • Carpet: Natural Elements Flooring

  • Glass making: Elliot Walker

  • Photography, text: Antonino Cardillo
  • Translation: Antonino Cardillo, Morgan Ferrar, Asakala Geraghty

  • Thanks to Paolo Bedetti, Anna Marra, Suzanne Trocmé, Paula O’Brien