Projects

"Ottica 311" Optical Store - Milan

Space, light and emotion

HOW THE CITY CHANGES. VIEWING MILAN THROUGH WELL-LIT SHOWROOMS
Author
Carlo Paganelli
Architect
Marco Rosa
(Studio ArketipoDesign)
Surfaces
IMOLACERAMICA
Year of completion
2010

Fashion is a sector that goes beyond primary needs, offering individuals the raw materials they require to rapidly create a recognisable sociocultural identity and define their social role. This is particularly important in situations involving interpersonal relationships, such as workplaces and leisure spaces – contexts in which people must not only be present but must also demonstrate that they conform to the spirit of the times. The aesthetic quality of eyewear retail spaces is rapidly becoming an urban-scale extension of communication in an increasingly design-focused sector.
As an exclusive sales location, the traditional store no longer exists. Although it hasn’t entirely vanished, it has experienced a kind of genetic mutation in recent years. This is particularly true in the case of large cities such as Milan, the capital of the fashion design world, where showrooms have established new trends and adopted an innovative sales philosophy based on sensorial perception and an interplay between the languages of art and the market.
Fashion accessories come in countless stylistic variations, so the dedicated retail spaces must be designed accordingly. Rather than empty receptacles to be filled with the objects of desire, they have become integrated structures in a project to create interiors with their own language, event-locations designed to fuel the hedonistic desires of people who enjoy being at the centre of attention. Eyewear has become a kind of multifunctional prosthesis or stage accessory that has developed in two opposing directions: on the one hand towards immateriality, achieved through the use of frames that are so transparent as to appear non-existent; on the other by creating microstructures that are so distinctive as to become a kind of mask.
Through an effective use of transparency and luminosity, Ottica 331 has become a living space, a pathway in an urban interior that combines social interaction with purchasing opportunity. Minimalist, but without taking formal simplicity to excess, the showroom conveys a kind of subliminal message, projecting itself as an art gallery for uncompromising designer eyewear. This atmosphere is repeated in all the brand stores through the use of a classic yet contemporary surface covering material, Travertino tile from ImolaCeramica.
The splendid porcelain surface serves as a backdrop to the interior design based on colour, dark/light contrasts and the use of light, as in the case of the multi-lobed pendant lamps and the large laser-perforated column which creates evocative forms reminiscent of the work of the cubist/surrealist painter Hans Arp.

Tiles
ImolaCeramica, Travertino
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
60x60 cm
Colours
beige, classico R60L
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): min. UB
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 140 mm³
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm²
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
ECOLABEL
EMAS
ISO 14001
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