Elegance from every angle
Riccardo Belinci - Studio mabb
Four visually-striking wall displays extend around a large central island that conceals a small but sophisticated eye-testing room. Opened more than a century ago close to Piazza Tacito in Terni at the crossroads between the city’s main streets, Ottica Dragoni was recently renovated by architect Riccardo Belinci from Studio Mabb with the aim of preserving and celebrating the location’s history. Accessed via a centrally located entrance door, the interior has a unique atmosphere that revisits the past with a contemporary gaze while retaining certain historical features that are cherished by the owners and customers alike. All the historical elements have been elegantly modernised. The ground floor space has been completely emptied out, leaving the layout to be defined by the structural elements. The resulting geometry is regular in shape with three large openings facing out onto the shopping street. The entrance door, the suspension lamps over the counters, the wooden ceiling with its hand-painted and decorated geometric and floral figures, the slender velvet-lined drawers and the two historic walnut counters were all retained to the satisfaction of loyal customers. „The project uses two traditional materials with enduring appeal: large regular ceramic slabs reproducing Statuario marble on the floor and natural walnut panelling installed from floor to ceiling around the entire perimeter,“ says architect Riccardo Belinci.
The wood panelling incorporating the eyewear fixtures extends around the entire space, as though to envelop customers with a striking wrap-around effect. More than three thousand pairs of glasses are showcased in a dynamic recessed shelving system featuring sliding circular mirrors set in natural brushed brass frames. The design team assigned considerable importance to the choice of skilled craftsmen, who were able to expertly recreate the typical grain of Italian walnut used for the wood panelling on the central island and the structure of the new counters with their perfectly curved ends. The result has a certain classical elegance that at the same time nurtures a harmonious relationship with customers.
The luminous surfaces of the large-size tiles from the I Classici di Rex collection create a sense of seamless continuity between the various areas of the store. The colour Statuario used on the floor and countertops contrasts elegantly with the wood furnishings to evoke a distinctive 1950s atmosphere. The Magnum Oversize modules in the large 160×160 cm size form a luminous and classically elegant continuous horizontal surface that coordinates effectively with the tone of the wood panelling.
I Classici di Rex