Camper Stores by Tomás Alonso
Sànchez y Montoro
Tomás Alonso Design Studio
The highly successful Camper brand of footwear derives from an idea by Llorenç Fluxà, grandson of the company’s founder, who in 1975 launched a model inspired by the traditional Majorcan “camaleon” shoes made of recycled canvas and leather. The “Camper Together” concept helped consolidate the brand. In this formula, which aims to avoid the standardisation typical of chain stores, the company and designer work together to create outlets that each have their own personality. Today there are 300 such stores in 42 countries, including the three discussed in this article which were designed by Tomás Alonso, a new addition to the prestigious team of Camper designers (Fernando and Humberto Campana, Juli Cappella, Michele de Lucchi, Benedetta Tagliabue and Jaime Hayon, amongst others). The young Spanish designer trained in the USA, Italy and Australia before settling in London, where he did a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art and then opened his own practice in Stoke Newington. The store in Via San Vincenzo in Genoa fully expresses his design philosophy. In this old building, pipes, wood and colour are the design elements used for the furnishings, making the most of the limited space. A store window and entrance area leads into the single street-level space. The vaulted ceiling is supported by the end infill wall, which incorporates the stairs to the upper floor, and by two cast beams at the entrance and the mid point of the store. The large central table and the seats and benches on either side are all designed and handmade by Tomás Alonso. The walls are tiled with standard or custom-made glazed porcelain from Ceramica Vogue, while the original marble floor has been retained. The lighting consists of an electric track system fitted with spotlights and ceramic lamps. Following the successful conclusion of the first collaboration, Camper commissioned Tomás Alonso to design its fifth London store, opened in November 2010 in Shelton Street (Covent Garden), on the corner of a brick building vaguely reminiscent of Victorian architecture. The entrance and two windows in Shelton Street and the smaller window in Neal Street are evidenced by the darker colour of the property’s external walls. The store has a total floor space of 44 square metres, consisting of an L-shaped room and stairs leading to the basement toilet. The interior furnishing scheme used in the Genoa store (based on the vintage look of the old London Underground) is repeated and adapted to the different layout, using painted steel and white oak along with ceramic lamps, colour contrasts, electric track lighting and ceramic tiles. The third collaboration between Camper and Tomás Alonso was for the new store opened in March 2011 in Buchanan Street in Glasgow. As in the first two projects, the furniture is made of powder-coated steel and natural American white oak. The ceramic lamps, handmade in Italy, and the 10×10 cm ceramic tiles are also identical. These tiles, along with a further three special sizes (a triangle of side length 10 cm and two rhomboids with long sides of 10 cm), were used to create geometric motifs on the walls and isometric designs for integrated shelves, mirrors and internal doors.
Ceramica Vogue, Interni and Trasparenze series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 2,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GB min.
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant