Corneliani - Flagship store

Av. Georges V – Paris, France

The new Parisian store opened in the heart of the fashion triangle of the French capital, which goes across Les Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne and Rue Georges V.

The challenge of this project was to reconcile two needs: the expression of Corneliani's brand identity on one hand, the respect for the location on the other.

The facade - being "the face of the building" - offered the opportunity to connect this two aspects to be designed as a real filter between the two strong identity of the city and the store.

It took six months of work to deliver this project finished, but it would not have been possible without following our end-to-end process, at the core of our way of working.

From the initial survey – essential to understand the location and being inspired, take the measurements and identify structural problems – through developing the project and prototyping new solutions (the special rings and layers), till the final installation, we had been always in control of the entire project, respecting time and budget.

A "brise-soleil"

Originally, the size of the only window/entrance of the store was exceptional: more than 4 meters high, it led us to consider it and to plan it as a "facade in front" of the building, a portal marble perimeter which would have emphasized - as a real frame - the Mantuan brand in this dramatic Parisian window.

In the original layout, the upper part of the front window was a weak point of the store: inside for its excessive height, and outside because it needed adequately shielding from sunlight. From a functional point of view, it was necessary that element the French call "brise-soleil", sun blocker.

Our choice was to make this functional aspect a distinctive choice. We designed a stratified cloud of Mantegna's rings that immediately referred to the company's brand-pattern and the famous and beautiful cultural background that inextricably ties it to the territory and the history of Mantua.

The brand-pattern is raised to power multiplied by 7 layers of intertwined rings, illuminated by special LED bars and nearly as many as layers for distribution and light adjustment.

A walk-through entrance

To reach the best result, it took months of prototyping in the Ermesponti's workshop for testing lighter materials, electrical wirings, different combinations and inclinations of the lights and any other possible detail one could think of.

The window-facade became a light three-dimensional element of Cornelian's shop: it is bright, transparent, almost a membrane; it is comparable to a filter (a cloud of countryside mist?) not only to look through, but also to pass through, a walk-through cloud!

The rings were made by an innovative lightweight material composed of two thin layers of sandwiched aluminum (D-bond) and the bracelets were obtained from more than 4000 meters of tape, coated with an exclusive fabric, slightly metalized in a barely-golden shade. (All in Ermesponti had glued at least a hundred meters of it, from the painter to the purchasing manager!).

The overall effect refers to a kind of modern transposition of the openwork pattern of the "grilles" Parisian, but also to the metal tunnels that innervate the Parisian icon structure par excellence - the Eiffel Tower - or modern tunnels in some contemporary facades such as the Institute of the Arab World by Jean Nouvel.

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