Alberto Guardiani Re-designs a New Concept for its Milan Flagship Store

MILAN, Nov 5, 2013/ — Inspired by the 1940s, the intimate interior has a refined and sophisticated atmosphere: these key features launch the new Alberto Guardiani concept store, which opens to the public on Corso Venezia, 6.

This space with its contemporary flair hosts collections renowned for their perfect balance between tradition and innovation.

The Alberto Guardiani flagship store on Corso Venezia 6 reopens its doors in September with a new concept. The first stage of the brand’s new retail season is set in Milan, from where it proceeds to Moscow and then to Ankara in the coming months.

The project was designed by the studio of Andrea Fogli Stefania Tognoloni & Partners, selected from a shortlist of four Italian architectural firms. The point of departure was to recapture the atmosphere that marked the brand’s creation in the 1940s. Furniture and spaces are inspired by masters of Art Deco architecture such as Jean Michel Frank, Andre Arbus, and Jacques Adnet, reinterpreted in a contemporary way.

The new space is restyled with a central entrance and two display windows. The project, which involves a surface area of 240 square meters distributed on two levels, enlarges the usable space within the boutique, which previously had been more limited.

The concept evokes the foyer of an apartment in New York, Paris, Singapore or London- welcoming and cosmopolitan, intimate and elegant. The space is defined by: central two-story shelves that are open on both sides, which are constructed of nautical wood that has a polyester finish; a large table lacquered in Guardiani blue; the use of carpets, ottomans, and armchairs; and especially, the presence of a fireplace and by two large lateral shelf units made of bronzed mirrors and ribbed glass that are used as exhibition space.

The key focus at the entrance, along with the shelving and the centre table, is a grand and eclectic Delightful l brass chandelier with trumpet-shaped arms. These elements also appear as appliqués and in a second chandelier that is suspended above the cashier desk.

The furniture, inspired by Art Deco and designed by Fogli Tognoloni, was custom built by Italian craftsmen using innovative materials and shapes. The look is eclectic and Post-modern, combining its basic functional aspect with geometric simplicity.

The selection of materials is Modernist in inspiration: from braided leather on the walls; to bronzed mirrors paired with ribbed mirrors for the exhibition spaces; to the windows; and the transition arches that define different environments. Velvet, woven herringbone, or small retro designs adorn ottomans, chairs and walls. Attention has been given to detail, from the polyester-finished nautical wood used for the windows, shelving cases, and other furniture details, to the dual-colour woven coconut carpets that perfectly match the resin flooring in subtle shades of pale grey. The Guardiani blue, a distinctive symbol of the brand, is discreetly referenced in the lacquering of the central table, in select fabrics, in the carpets, and in lamps that emit diffused light.

The ground floor contains the entire women’s and men’s world of the Alberto Guardiani brand, as if it were a luxurious walk-in closet in a private wardrobe, where there are also large mirror dividers. Classic Art Deco style cabinets are paired with fabric-covered travel trunks with brass details that are left nonchalantly open and function as exhibition spaces.

Upstairs, the Guardiani Sport world is hosted by a space that marks both similarities and differences with the Alberto Guardiani environments on the lower floor.

The classic lines of the spaces on the ground floor are transferred upstairs, where they acquire linearity and a high-tech look: black and steel replace the warm colours and brass; simple mirrors replace the bronzed mirrors on spacious walls and exhibition shelves; while high-tech fabrics and rubberized leather replace the velvets, herringbone fabrics, and braided leather on the walls and furnishings. The result is a more versatile environment that in a diverse way expresses the intimate and sophisticated atmosphere already introduced in the Alberto Guardiani line.

The two external cube display windows, which suggest the internal environment, also become exhibition spaces, where the intimate atmosphere becomes even more evident: cleverly illuminated by a Viabizzuno lighting system, objects take the form of precious treasures in a chest. The shiny wood platform has the logo in high relief in brass that is offset by the bronzed mirror of the walls and the ceiling.

In simple display windows, a half-moon arc in the upper part is made of a special ribbed glass, a material that also is typical of the vintage atmosphere of the 1940s.

The classic elements of this project interact and merge-as do all Alberto Guardiani collections- with a world that is contemporary and innovative: LED screens filtered by bronzed mirrors accompany the visitor through the various rooms, where eclectic brass music stands are placed next to iPad stations, which allow interaction with Alberto Guardiani’s digital world and social networks.

This new space, a new concept that began in Milan out of a suitcase, has always combined experience with tradition and innovation- for a strong Made-in-Italy spirit, but with international appeal.

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