TAG: Milan

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Offices

March 30 2009



Giorgio Borruso Design of Marina Del Rey, California, designed the new airy and fluid headquarters for Milano’s Fornari SpA (Fornari Group).
 
Located in the Navigli section of Milan, the 35,000 square-foot building was converted from the historic porcelain workshop of the centuries-old Richard Ginori brand.


 
The Fornari family’s road to fashion fame started in the mid 1940s from footwear manufacturing. It entered the fashion apparel business in 1998 and has since flourished in other fashion, design and lifestyle brands, including the Fornarina fashion concept stores across Europe and the U.S.
 
The main entrance of the headquarters on Via Morimondo opens to a space lit by color-changing LED lights that seems to suck the visitor gently into the reception area. The open space is flexible, airy and fluid with rounded corners, curved edges, transparent partitions and unexpected waves of color. The hard and exposed concrete floors and steel structure contrast beautifully with the wavy feel of the new walls, partitions and staircase.


 
There is also a slight, vertigo-inducing sense of controlled imbalance, of not being completely sure what is floor, what is ceiling and what is wall. This was the intention of Giorgio Borruso designers describing the result as “Giving the illusion that there is no gravitational force; that you can walk on any surface; you can rotate the system ninety degrees, and it still works.”
 
The Italian architect and designer Giorgio Borruso is known for experimenting with and testing the boundaries of form, shape and structure throughout his career. He has won awards for product design, retail design, architecture and interior design. His famous retail work includes the tortellini-shaped shoe fixtures for Fornarina and the cocoon-like fitting rooms for Miss Sixty. - Tuija Seipell



Events

August 7 2009

From August 5 to September 30, the cutely nostalgic Fiat 500 C, unveiled in February, appears on Milan’s world-famous fashion street, Montenapoleone, in an unexpected role. Exactly 20 fiberglass replicas, precisely the same size and shape as the little Fiat, have become planters for real trees of various shapes. The happening, called “Per fare un albero” (Create a tree), is a cooperative effort between the City of Milan, Fiat, and artist-designer Fabio Novembre. In Novembre’s words, his solution to merge into one object trees and cars, two elements always vying for urban space, is a “symbol of a new way of living.” According to Fiat’s spokespeople, Fiat 500 C’s cheerful, friendly, innovative and eco-friendly character is a perfect fit for such an undertaking. - Tuija Seipell

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Stores

March 16 2011

Luxury jewelry and giftware stores are waking up. They have been as traditionally stuffy as banks in their design, but their globe-trotting clientele is demanding an upgrade. Bored out of their minds, they want an edge, a spark, a something, to break up the monotony and to add some interest.



We've featured a few, including Octium in Kuwait,- Podium Paris and Solange Azagury-Partridge London and here is another to add to that list: The two-level Faraone jewelery boutique in Milan, on Via Montenapoleone, envisioned by architect Massimo Iosa Ghini. whose retail design work includes showrooms for Maserati and Ferrari.



At Faraone, his subdued, metallic setting for the items on display symbolizes the precious-metal setting of a ring or pendant that sets out the stones, engraving and minute details.

There is also a cool, retro factor, reminiscent of the mysterious estate jewelry areas in luxury department stores of the past. The soft nappa leather chairs and the tone-on-tone carpeting add to the feel of being inside a jewelry box. - Tuija Seipell.

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