When the two worlds of jewellery and architecture collide


Architecture and jewellery may seem like they have nothing in common.
Jewellery extraordinaire Binoy Shah tells us otherwise

You would be surprised at how head-turning  architecture has formed the foundation of some of the most stunning jewellery collections in the world. It is a huge trend in the industry where sleek geometry and edgy wearable art have been seen and continue to be noticed all over the biggest runways.

Binoy Shah of BNM Jewellers, a self-confessed architect by passion,  couldn’t agree more. He believes that every piece of jewellery always has a story behind it. An inspiration that brings it to life and gives it true  meaning. And that could be a famous building, a motif or even an  architectural style—both old or new.

For his own jewellery, he derives inspiration from the abstract art and architecture that he stumbles across when he travels. In fact unique architecture from around the globe is a recurrent theme in his jewellery collections.“I keep a diary to recall my adventures and experiences, and I keep observing various idiosyncratic elements in the architecture around me. I return home and try to turn them into beautifully crafted masterpieces that will make every wearer feel special and one of a kind”, quips Binoy.
As architecture takes many forms in different cultures and contexts, each piece of Binoy’s jewellery is unique and serves as a real reminder of the destinations he has travelled.

Some of the architecture-infl uenced pieces that Binoy’s collections boast of include art-deco-esque pieces for its sheer sense of style and grandeur,
while others take inspiration from oriental patterns for its vast, complex and diverse range of elements. Using a large variety of precious stones, titanium metals, mother of pearls and more, Binoy and his team recreate structural marvels in the form of never-seen-before jewellery.

However, it is not always the case that a jeweller references only ancient classical shapes and art deco motifs. Today there are enough jewellers and architects using modern structures as the basis of inspiration and creation. Architect Zaha Hadid is one such example. She fi rst collaborated with  Swarovski way back in 2008 and then with Geneva-based Caspita to produce a series of rings that are evocative of her curving, cellular-like  buildings. Hadid later even curated a special series entitled the ‘Zaha Hadid Selects’ comprising 20 handpicked pieces at the Goldsmiths’ Fair in London which included a stunning ring by Jennifer Saker, resonating complex and highly engineered bridges and famous stadiums. Taipei-based 22 Design Studio created rings and earrings using concrete and steel directly lifted from its home city’s skyline. As for some more familiar names: Tiffany & Co took inspira- tion from the world of architecture by collaborating with Frank Gehry for his polished concrete collection. Bulgari beautifully highlighted the Takhti cut—a soft, curved rectangle—which imitates the shape of roof tiles in Rajasthan palaces, in one of its prized collections. And Chanel produced a glittering one-off diamond cuff based on the mesmerising Manhattan streetscape. Talk about two worlds merging!