A luxury boutique in Pistoia
Andrea Piccinelli is an interior designer based in Prato. His idea for the remodelling of Fagni, a well known, historic, high-fashion boutique in the heart of Pistoia, was to «design and create a mould-breaking boutique, with clear allusions to international taste, and a distinct approach to styling based on expressive materials and rational considerations: a far cry, in other words, from the standard beige-tinted’ shops typically found in Pistoia.»
Fagni was established in 1945 as a shop selling fabrics and materials for clothing. Today, it sells ladies’ and men’s clothing, footwear and accessories by some of the top names in Italian and international fashion, such as Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. Thanks to Alessandro Fagni’s eclecticism and Fabrizio Fagni’s rigour, the store has also earned a place in the «The best shops» list published by Camera Italiana Buyer Moda. Measuring some 600 square metres, it’s distributed over two floors and comprises various rooms of different heights and sizes, some of which are interconnected by the narrow passageways that are typical of 19th Century architecture.
The interior design mixes a wide range of structural and decorative elements to create continuity between the various brands on display, while enhancing their style and uniqueness and preserving their individual identity. Materials such as glass, metal and ceramic are harmoniously paired with furnishing complements, and constitute the common thread running through the overall identity of the store. The result is a rich mixture of ceramic, with all its scope for creative expression; seasoned solid walnut from the Apennine mountains surrounding Prato, for the furnishings; steel and glass, whose technical, versatile and neutral nature helps shape the contemporary styling; and LED lighting, which plays a uniquely impalpable, sensory, supporting role.
Despite the awkward layout of the rooms, which were previously separate and non-continuous, the architect managed to make the length and depth of the space visible, and gave everything a continuous, connected appearance by means of minor modifications to the walls. Porcelain tile from the Cottocemento collection by COEM is used as both a floor and wall covering, and is accentuated by the insertion of long strips of solid Apennine walnut, to create two visual axes within the boutique, each measuring about 25 metres in length. The overall effect is a dynamic spatial perspective, which is enhanced by the perfectly pitched interior lighting, deployed exclusively around the display systems. Light and ceramic thus provide visual and sensory pathways, as customers move around the boutique.
The ceramic tiles descend the walls, cross the passageways with impeccable geometry, and punctuate and highlight the alignment of the glass display systems. They sweep in from the street entrance and cross a visual tunnel, before resuming their journey over an inner courtyard and moving through to the back of the boutique, along an axis that makes the most elegant part of the store visible from the street, thus providing strategic continuity between interior and exterior. Andrea Piccinelli is constantly on the look-out for materials that express his thirst for discovery, and his remodelling of the Fagni boutique is a monument to his creativity and ability to spring fresh surprises on us, with a frequently unexpected approach. In the words of Piccinelli himself: «Ceramic has an intrinsic geometry of its own, but in this context, perhaps more than ever, it provided the perfect medium to express my ideas.»
Coem, Cottocemento collection
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GLA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): Dark Grey-Brown: CLASS 4 (2100 giri)
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 42.2 N/mm2 (valori medi riferiti alla nostra ultima produzione)
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): Naturale R10; Esterno R11.
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant