Marcante-Testa studio renovates Imarika boutique in Milan
Imarika is one of the most famous womenswear multibrand store in Milan, located in the district of Porta Venezia: recenlty the 180 sqm boutique has been renovated and enlarged to create a new architectural landscape, inspired by the experience of the historical Olivetti shops.
The architects Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa of Marcante-Testa studio have redesigned the space carefully, enhancing it with architectural elements that have a clear and precise formal and functional identity.
The shop is divided by an angular wooden screen that has been plastered in clay, which articulates the different display areas and also becomes a display in itself (both for the windows and for the shop’s interior), on which shoes, bags and accessories can be placed; another small architectural element, also rendered in clay, contains the changing rooms.
The horizontality of the display cases is offset by a system of struts made of copper tubing inset with woven braid trim, which support the hanging rails and direct the gaze towards the decorative ceiling.
In addition, the overhead lighting becomes an intrinsic part of the plasterwork decoration, which turns the ceiling into a sort of upside-down carpet; on the other hand, the large acrylic plexiglass system of cupboards and the made-to-measure lighting fixtures give the suggestion of the domestic dimension that represents the medium between the product and its audience.
Finally, the formal expression and the consideration of material – from the clay to the pink briar wood used for the hexagonal display cases and the sales counter, as well as the white gloss laminate, the plexiglass, the copper and trimmings – do not interfere with the architectural shell but instead create an architectural scenery; an approach that evokes the spirit the Olivetti shops designed by Franco Albini, BBPR and others between the 30’s and the 50’s.
A vintage inspiration for a super contemporary shop.
Photography by Carola Ripamonti.