Outstanding overall vision
Marco Rosa (Studio ArketipoDesign)
Designed as an almost transparent envelope with five storefront windows that attract potential customers from the busy road outside, the Ottica Bertelli optical store in Cusano Milanino is more than a retail outlet, it is a seductive space with enormous communicative power.
“Behind every project of ours is a strategy that aims to seduce users, that taps into their desires. Satisfying a need must become first and foremost the fulfilment of a desire,” explains architect Marco Rosa, founder of the Milan-based practice ArketipoDesign that created the project. “Architecture thus becomes the theatre of desire.”
And indeed the astonishingly spacious interiors, the strikingly minimalist furnishings and the strong character of the materials create an almost theatrical overall impact, where the orderly atmosphere and clean style together with “ton-sur-ton” effects serve to emphasise the eyewear products exhibited in the various display units.
Functionally, the space is organised along a directional right-left axis that delineates the areas used by staff and customers, while the front section serves as both a display area and a partition that leads to the service areas.
In accordance with the requirements of the client, a family with forty years of experience in the field, the structure combines an atmosphere of professionalism – emphasising the quality of service and the strong interpersonal relationships with customers – with more fashion-oriented yet sober design cues. The retail space is divided into three areas, two of which are aimed at more immediate and instinctive purchases and devoted to sunglasses and new models, while the third and more discreet area features a series of counters for assisted selling of prescription eyeglasses. The layout of the spaces is enhanced by the alternation of eyewear display panels and luminous columns that serve as both product displays and highly emotional graphic elements.
The entire project is marked by a masterly use of graphic design and the harmonious juxtaposition of materials, including digitally decorated ceramic tiles from ImolaCeramica’s Maxima collection, Rainbow series. With their deep colour and strong, graphic veins, the large-format tiles complement the wood grain furnishings and create a dynamic, elegant contrast with the glossy surfaces and luminous panels.
All the interior elements combine to ensure direct and emotional communication with visitors. Even the ceiling plays its part, with a contemporary idiom based on graphic brown lines that cut deeply into the volumes of the false ceiling, reflecting the imaginary pathway concept that runs through the entire project.