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Chiocchetti Jewelers

The Contemporary Yet Historic Store

Pietro Carlo Pellegrini

Chiocchetti Jewelers
By Caterina Testa -

Alongside the buildings, monuments, streets and squares, the urban landscape of every city is also made up of countless retail interiors that give on to the public space. Stores, boutiques, multinational chains, and shopping centers are all an extension of any city’s daily lived experience.

The architecture of retail interiors is tailored to the specific display and communication requirements of the individual business and brand. An imaginary map of the ephemeral temporary landscape of the windows, shop signs and furnishings of our cities’ shops over the last few decades will show how radically that landscape has changed, leaving no trace of what was there before.

In his book Il negozio storico nella Lucca contemporanea (The Historic Store in Contemporary Lucca), architect Pietro Carlo Pellegrini photographed the extraordinary wealth of retail spaces in Lucca, where stores and craft workshops have long played a key role in the economy and urban image of this small Tuscan city.

Awareness of this rich yet ephemeral heritage, so vulnerable to increasingly rapidly changing market trends, led Pellegrini to investigate the whole theme of historic retail outlets out of respect for tradition but also to see how they adjust to contemporary needs. His own architectural project for the historic Chiocchetti jewellery store, again in Lucca, is paradigmatic of his approach.

Founded in 1896 by Frediano Chiocchetti and now run by the fourth generation - his great-grandson Alberto - Gioielleria Chiocchetti is one of the landmark businesses on Lucca’s Via Fillungo, the city’s historic shopping thoroughfare. Architect Pellegrini’s brief involved restoring the shop windows and redesigning the interior spaces, where the clear objective right from the start was to combine history and tradition with a focus on the future.

The painted iron profiles of the store windows that clearly reference...

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