An Escher effect in the centre of Rome
The Who*s Who concept store, located in Via Bocca di Leone in Rome, a short walk from Piazza di Spagna, stands out for a floor covering that offers an unusual visual interpretation of space. The minimalism of the previously existing arches and ceilings contrasts with the visually striking floor design, which extends up the end walls. The tiles chosen for the project are from the highly innovative Mauk Cuadra Slimtech collection, created by Diego Grandi for Lea Ceramiche. In place of static square or rectangular porcelain tiles, ultrathin panels were cut into rhombus-shaped modules of side length 57.6 cm. The composition of these natural stone effect panels, used in three different shades of grey and three types of surface (sandblasted, natural and honed), creates a fascinating three-dimensional play of perspective. Diego Grandi, who has been collaborating with Lea Ceramiche since 2003, takes a contemporary and innovative approach to the spatial use of surface coverings. The Mauk Slimtech collection re-elaborates the concept of floor and wall decoration based on a return to historic wood and stone designs. The chosen collection references classical stone and historic surface designs in a tribute to the Eternal City and its splendid architectural heritage, a constant source of inspiration and surprise. This project however adopts an original, constructive approach, as Fabio Novembre has repeatedly explained that his goal is to bear witness to “our times” without being intimidated by the evocative power of the past.
On either side of this iconic 60 square metre floor, mainly left clear and uncluttered, stand racks of clothes separated by strange stylised silhouettes made of Corian. These unusual human figures appear to be multiplied by the reflecting walls. The new Rome fashion boutique follows in the footsteps of the first store opened in Milan in 2013, also designed by Fabio Novembre. The designer commented: “We like to say that the name Who’s who refers to the search for an identity, a constant striving for something that is not oneself. The first space recreated by Who’s who is the scene of an encounter between a woman and a man. Only the spark of love can light the flame of creation.” The Italian womenswear and accessory brand Who’s Who, headquartered in Desenzano del Garda, commissioned multitalented, avant-garde designer Fabio Novembre to create a concept that would physically reflect the products renowned for original graphic designs and exuberant printed colours.
Sabbiata, naturale, lappata