Floor tiles for a new supermarket: Paolo Lucchetta’s UNICOOP Firenze store.

08-01-2013
High-tech porcelain tiles are perfect for tying in big shopping centres with local traditions. The colours and performance of porcelain go perfectly with the innovative research in design dedicated to contemporary spaces for socialisation.


Architecture for public spaces, meeting places, social spaces and collective living has changed in recent years in response to changing lifestyles. When designing the layout of a shopping centre, all these references must overcome the concept of the non-place to give commercial spaces a new identity through use of space, functions, materials and relationships. For the shopping centre is no longer just a place to sell things; it is a place where people socialise, a place of sustainable commerce, a focus for reorganisation of today?s cities and markets. This ideology is expressed in three-dimensional form in architect Paolo Lucchetta?s project for the UNICOOP store in Novoli, Florence, designed to serve a composite, high varied metropolitan clientele: a place designed for people and built around people on the basis of their local identity.

The conceptual innovation expressed in the design of the project incorporates areas for socialisation intended for people of all ages in the shopping mall, where people can attend events, presentations and tastings or enjoy a multimedia arena with wireless workstations and tables for reading or drawing, all surrounded by books. The Novoli shopping complex is a place designed for the frantic pace of the city, capable of accommodating large numbers of people, with high performance flooring which solves technical issues while maintaining the atmosphere the architect wished to create. FMG?s Lignum solid high-tech porcelain flooring responds to all the project?s ideological, performance and image requirements, thanks to its large size, 120X20 and the natural colours present in the collection, covering the 4500 square metre shopping identity with a strong identity.

Architect Paolo Lucchetta?s study of the design of the big co-op shopping centre offered a unique opportunity to rethink the concept of the shopping mall by redefining spaces on the basis of the users? identity, changing the traditional layout. Use of the form and sequence of islands displaying products and keeping the stores open towards the landscape around them, as in a traditional market, demonstrate that an apparently anomalous place can host local Tuscan culture without betraying its underlying principles. The lightweight, clear display units of familiar, traditional design thus concretely represent the combination of innovation and tradition the architect sought to achieve.
UNICOOP Firenze is a project expressed in a conscious, sustainable language with an ethical approach to the local context, dedicated to people and capable of expressing one of the most vital aspects of living: the market. Here we have before us a project in which research focuses on restoring and updating the traditional place of commerce and traditional relationships between things, goods and human beings, finding concrete expression in this space designed to be rooted in its new users? anthropological geography.


Products mentioned:
LIGNUM by FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti: solid high-tech porcelain tiles available in 6 colours.

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