Diffuse micro-urban planning
Ennio Zucchetti + MobilM/Nantes
There has always been debate as to whether it is form that follows function or the opposite. But for years now, especially in certain areas of architecture such as interiors, form in reality follows business – and it could hardly be otherwise. Architecture is a medium that communicates through images in a three-dimensional language, where the context is not always the built environment but the world of goods. It is a pervasive world with its own rapidly growing economistic language and its own aesthetic, in symmetry with mass culture, that is widely shared by clients and architects.
The pharmacy store “Farmacia Dott. Ceriali” is located inside a large shopping centre, a non-place, whose architecture is deeply bound up with the world of goods.
Shopping centres are containers, Chinese boxes that in turn enclose fragments of urbanity in the form of spaces with routes marked by intersections, roundabouts or squares. In an increasingly global, undifferentiated world where cultures merge, this is only to be expected. The interaction between goods and cultures creates hybrid universes characterised by a cross-bred generator of new sensorial trends. The architecture practice of Ennio Zucchetti (with the collaboration of architect Cristina Orsini and Paolo Cossa) has been working with the Italian client for a number of years, taking as reference the experience of the French, who have always been a step ahead in the development of innovations for large shopping centres.
The aim of the project was to refurbish and expand a pharmacy in accordance with an innovative, highly commercial concept – a store aimed at the large specialised distribution sector in the context of a shopping centre that attracts more than two million visitors a year. The new space was designed on the basis of an authentic “science of shopping”, where customer pathways are analysed as flows between points of interest, namely the various product areas and sales corners.
The reception desk at the entrance, the express check-out and the demonstration desk serve to direct maximum attention onto the displayed goods and the services on offer.
Once the pathways had been defined by means of the layout, the visual communication aimed to achieve maximum clarity – as in the case of any coordinated image design. The design of a new logo became an opportunity to define the brand, which determines every distinctive element of the product.
This intense-traffic area required hard-wearing and low-maintenance floor and wall coverings, in this case tiles from Ceramiche Refin’s Artech collection in Grigio and Perla finishes. Large format tiles (60×120 cm) were chosen for the floors and 30×60 cm tiles for the laboratory walls.
Refin, Artech Collection
30x60 - 60x120
Grigio and Perla
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,2%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant