Corneliani - Flagship Store
Milano - Via Montenapoleone
A challenging project
The intervention can be immediately seen as challenging: a small ground floor with two windows facing the street, a mezzanine of insufficient height, a second floor with the minimum required height and a loft.
Such a project would have been unrealizable and even unthinkable with the traditional contract logics; if the architect is not also the head of the workshop and the site manager, the execution discontinuities that are created prevent the co-ordination of the architectural scale, the plant-engineering scale and the furniture in order of millimetres.
A highly sartorial solution
This business has been conceived in a fully sartorial manner; architecture is combined with plant engineering and furniture; given the fact that the heights are not those for the traditional suspended ceilings that house the systems, here everything is embedded like the gears of a watch case, the systems are completely integrated in the furniture; everything has been foreseen and designed in detail as from the very first design phase and suitably made for the customer.
The only pieces of furniture chosen from standard production are the Minotti upholstered pieces of furniture due to the quality of the contract product guaranteed by the Meda company.
A central mirror
There are 8 levels from the boutique threshold to the VIP room threshold; thanks to a large 8-metre-high mirroring surface, from the outside, the observer can perceive the development of the shop in the upper flows facing the empty space of the hall.
In some points, some back-projections of Corneliani parades emerge from the mirror, and from the entrance – always through the mirror – the tailor’s shop corner can be seen.
Nicola Biondani’s “Il sarto” bas-relief symbolically reminds the observer that the core business of the Mantova company has its roots in the Italian artistic and handicraft culture.
A careful selection of materials
The cylindrical volume that embraces the VIP room is covered with a discontinuous surface of curved panels made of top-stitched leather panels separated by polished stainless steel panels – of different width – in order to stress the dimensional relations between the niches and the covering panels.
The niches in the back wall covered with beige scratch-work nary stone panels are designed from a stainless steel panel embedded inside a polished ebony back frame; the intrados is made of polished ebony showing the different wood grains, and the back and the floor are made of clear microfibre.
The architectural mark
We have decided to design in a cutaway manner the customer’s route as an “promenade architecturale” vertically, and we have applied Loos's “raumplan” concept, which stresses the dimensional relations among the spaces for provoking certain perceptive experiences in those walking through the spaces.
Each customer with their own space
As from the first steps, the customer is invited to walk through the spaces and connections among them, immersed in the product exhibition; a specific display has been studied for each type of product, and each customer can enjoy the privacy of a dressing room and of one or more sessions in reserved position.
The giant mirror – which is more than 8 metres high – lets the images projected at the back be seen.
The mirror is actually a mirroring film, a special methacrylate sheet mounted on ultra clear glass.
The lighting system and the corresponding lighting devices have been designed ad hoc.
The lights have been made with special Japanese LEDs in order to reconcile energy saving with the chromatic rendering of fabrics.
In the “basket” boiserie, the weft–warp weaving is simulated by hundreds of solid ebony squares – the cashmere of wood – obtained from ebony shaped bars, cut and put together with the grain on the board and painted by hand.
Draw-string leather cladding
Leather goods niches