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The first international retail storefront for Claus Porto—the 131-year-old Portuguese fragrance house. A 42-foot-long freestanding archway has been inserted into the existing ground-floor storefront of an early 1800’s building, one block off of NYC’s Bowery, creating a portal through which the visitors may immerse themselves in the world of Claus Porto’s unique scents. The design pays homage to Portuguese architecture and craftsmanship and is a subtle reference to Porto’s São Bento train station, which was first proposed in 1887, the same year that Claus Porto was founded. Famed for the intricate azulejo tilework that depicts historical events in Portuguese history, this central rail hub—with arched doorways onto the street—has served as a welcoming gateway for those arriving into Porto. Milled from Portuguese cork, 1,500 faceted diamond tiles reference the tiled facade of the historic Casa dos Bicos in Lisbon and define a vaulted interior whose form references the arched portals of São Bento train station and the decorative az ulejo tile that line its arrival hall. Like the azulejo tile that inspired them, the decorative wrappings of Claus Porto’s fine products are held within carved cork niches and speak to a timeless spirit of craft and ingenuity that have defined the brand’s 131 year history. A monolithic wash basin, carved from a single block of Estremoz marble, sits at the heart of the space in reference to the baptismal font and as a celebration of the ritual of daily cleansing.

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