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Colour as a Narrative


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

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.

Translation: Antonino Cardillo, Morgan Ferrar, and Asakala Geraghty

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Antonino Cardillo, Colour as a Narrative, London, 2015.


  • Time: May 2014‑Apr. 2015; demolished in 2017
  • Place: Illuminum Fragrance, 41 Dover St, Mayfair, London, UK
  • Area: 27 m² (one storey)
  • Typology: shop


  • Architecture design and construction management: Antonino Cardillo
  • Client: Illuminum Fragrance (via Suzanne Trocmé; director: Keith Hamilton; art director: Asakala Geraghty)
  • Construction company: Italian Art Design Ltd.
  • Masonry: Adrian Paiunui Mihai, Fabio Di Monte, and Gianmarco Di Monte
  • Olfactory glasses concept: Asakala Geraghty
  • Glass making: Elliot Walker
  • Carpet: Natural Elements Flooring
  • Thanks to Paolo Bedetti, Anna Marra, and Paula O’Brien