Preston’s is a chain of iconic jewellery stores that were founded by goldsmith James Preston - the first store opened as Preston’s of Bolton in 1869. With three locations (Bolton, Leeds, and Wilmslow) located in the north of England, Preston’s of Guildford opened in March 2015 as their first showroom in the south of the country.
To create showpiece interior design features, appropriate of the jewellery destination store in the region. The theme was a woodland fantasy that must enhance the experiential shopping environment. This was based around a central staircase, rising to reveal an exclusive high-end area for discerning clients only.
The staircase was designed to emulate a tree, the core being a tree trunk with circular stair treads as branches spreading out and around. Drawing inspiration from late 20th century Scandinavian design, the stair treads feature a leaf pattern and were created from toughened kiln formed glass. This was then laminated to provide the required structural integrity.
A curved balustrade was made from toughened and laminated glass. Between the laminated glass are multiple layers of hand frayed sheer fabric with pleats and gold wire positioned to control the transparency. Sandblasted glass dragonflies and butterflies were added and fused iridised glass dragonflies were bonded to the surface. This gave a tactile and three dimensional effect.
The main entrance door handles were created utilising coloured lead crystal cast to a leaf design. Two different sets were commissioned, representing the seasonal colours of autumn and summer, and were bonded to metal backing plates that can be fixed to the brass door frame and interchanged.
Daedalian Glass Studios also created facades for sales stations, glass handles for cupboards, the first floor balustrade around the stairwell, matching glass jewellery shelves and partitions, and a feature bar for champagne receptions.
The feature bar had a ‘fantasy’ theme, the bar top glass design imitating soft ripples on water with water lily leaves bonded to it. It also featured a 180-degree curved front, and was laminated with a hand crushed velvet fabric interlayer.