Corneliani Firenze

Palazzo dell'Arte della Lana – Florence, Italy.

In the heart of Florence

Ermesponti was required to design and refurbish the Corneliani boutique in Florence.

The location was special: the Palazzo dell'Arte della Lana in the heart of Florence, just behind Palazzo della Signoria. It has a very imposing entrance hall from the Portico by Buontalenti and such an amazing fresco made by the Maestro del Bargello inside a niche on the ground floor.

We immediately decided to apply the very first architectural rule we learned in Florence when we were students, genius loci, which respects and highlights the character of the building.

That's the reason why here in Florence the Corneliani boutique retains the architectural features of this particular location. For example, the presence of the Florentine walls was completely respected and the displays reduced to a minimum. The colours of walls and other materials, like wood and marble, were given a slightly matte finish too.

The Mantegna's rings

The culture of Florence and Mantua meet on the main wall of the ground floor. Here, we obtained permission not to obstruct the fresco as well as the wall and we designed an understated tridimensional monochromatic pattern as a background which recalls the brand of the company.

This pattern was inspired by the frescos of Andrea Mantegna found in the Camera degli Sposi in Palazzo Ducale, Mantua. The company logo was located intentionally in that corner, in the manner of Brunelleschi's details evident in Cappella Pazzi.

But our work as architects was not only concerned with design and architectural culture. Using Ermesponti's end-to-end method, we were able to complete all the work on site in the space of a few weeks.

A new shop in 4 weeks

The director handed over the shop keys on February the 23. After the demolition works, we organized everything from marble floors to ceilings and windows in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile we made bespoke furniture and installed it in one week while the electricians were finishing the air conditioning and lighting. We were able to give back the shop keys to the clients and open on the 12 of March 2016. That's what we mean when we talk of a real turnkey project.

In the end we were so happy because the results exceeded our client's expectations. We were also happy to bring back to Florence everything we had learned from the principles of architecture to the fine details of craftsmanship which is the essence of our Ermesponti's approach to interiors.

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