In China and New York, architecture firm Vudafieri-Saverino Partners recently designed two commercial projects. In China, the Italian studio designed a new concept for Glory Casa’s showrooms, a brand of made in Italy furnishing accessories. The project concept aimed to create a space able not only to contain products for sale, but also to offer Chinese customers a different lifestyle, expressing the savoir-faire and the aesthetic essence of the much-desired made in Italy em>. Architects Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino explained that “the showrooms needed a soul, a space suitable for hosting some of the most prestigious Italian furniture brands: the idea was to use an Italian architecture style to represent the values of the brand”. For the four Flagship Stores, built inside new and popular shopping malls in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Kunming, the architects chose a common thread closely reminiscent of Italy. The iconic trait identified by the architects as the key element of the project was the round arch, used as an archetype and symbol of Italy’s architecture both in the façades and in the interiors. On the outside, the arches define large porches, which perform a double function: on the one hand, their visual impact renders the store immediately recognisable; on the other, they provide a space for strolling, recreating the typical porticoed streets characterising many Italian villages. Under the arches, large windows, from which passersby can observe the collections, alternate with full walls that give the shop a sense of privacy and exclusivity. Inside, the stores are organised into several commercial and common areas: reception, VIP lounge, information desks and shopping services. The areas correspond to mono-brand rooms or “architectural boxes” dedicated to each of the brands on display. Shoppers can take a stroll through the showrooms, losing themselves in the evocative places and stories in which the iconic element returns, with metal arches marking the passage from one space to another.
In New York, in the heart of Fifth Avenue, the Italian architecture firm Vudafieri-Saverino Partners designed the first American flagship store for Delvaux, a Belgian luxury leather goods house. The location chosen for this project is the former premises of a famous antique gallery, La Vieille Russie, occupying two levels of a beautiful building dating back to the 1930s. Known as the Sherry-Netherland building, the skyscraper overlooks Central Park and is surrounded by iconic buildings in Manhattan's elegant and famous Upper East Side neighbourhood. In the interior design project, architects Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino preserved the original architectural space, adapting old elements, such as the ancient balustrade of the internal staircase, to the new concept. The living room of Stocklet Palace, the masterpiece designed by architect Josef Hoffmann and one of the most symbolic residences in Belgium, was a source of inspiration for the project. Decorations, colours and materials such as marble, fabrics and wood are recalled in the flagship store, while also including elements characterising the brand such as the iconic curved boiserie, the templates for cutting leather, as well as historical pieces from the Delvaux archives. The architects respected the genius loci of the setting, paying homage to the eclectic and multicultural spirit of Manhattan, while at the same time blending it with references to Flemish design, decorative arts and the eccentric interpretation of luxury characterising the Delvaux brand.
Glory Casa, multi-brand furniture showroom
Beijing – 2,000 sqm
Shanghai – 3,000 sqm
Shenzhen – 1,167 sqm
Kunming – 3,800 sqm
Project: Vudafieri Saverino Partners, Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino
Design Team: Sean Gotha, Stefano Piontini, Kun Yang, Ana Arango, Iris Cai
Photos: Alan Grillo
Delvaux New York Flagship
Total area: 605 sqm
Shopping area: 430 sqm
Project: Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino
Project Manager: Elena Salvaterra
Design team: Elena Salvaterra, Elena Pessina, Roberta Lavena, Vanessa Ramponi, Margherita Mezzetti
Local Architect: Valerio Inc.
Lighting designer: Walter Amort
Photos: Frank Oudeman