An evocative place where collections become works of art. In the heart of Brera Design District in Milan Ceramica Sant’Agostino inaugurated its new showroom where the latest and most iconic collections stand out on large panels inside a space designed by Calvi Brambilla studio that is spread over two levels but is treated as a single “architectural box”.
Ceramica Sant’Agostino, one of the leading Italian players in the ceramic sector, is a company with almost sixty years of history, still led by the founder’s family: its values, which have been fundamental for the path in the pursuit of creativity on the Italian and international territory, are fully expressed by the location of the new showroom, a strategic point in one of the busiest areas of the city and in direct contact with the most important architectural firms.
Art directors Calvi Brambilla explained:
“This is the first project we are developing with Ceramica Sant’Agostino, and right from the start we found ourselves in great harmony. What inspired the set-up was the value of this new stage in the journey of a high-level company, solid and rooted in the territory: their first showroom in Milan required a refined look for its entrance on such an important stage. Combining the theme of the journey from the headquarters in the province of Ferrara to the city of Milan with the company’s desire for a very scenic space where they could showcase their collections, we immediately thought of Franco Albini’s design for Line1 of the Milan subway.”
The graphic sign of the red handrail, which in Albini’s design accompanies the traveller from the surface and continues on the stairs to the train waiting platform, has been reinterpreted with a new exhibiting function in Calvi Brambilla’s design.
Not just one but two horizontal lines, architecturally rendered with dark titanium finish tubes, become the hanging supports for the display panels of Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s collection. The result is a graphic sign given by the parallel tubes, running along the entire perimeter of the showroom ground floor and, from a functional point of view, enabling a very flexible display of the product: the tubes, in fact, allow for a variable modularity of the panels, adaptable to different sizes, but also adjustable in number depending on the presentation that one wants to display; the graphic sign remains, but the frames supporting the product can decrease or increase as in an evocative museum system.
Large display frames, designed down to the smallest detail to hold both slabs with a single finish and tile compositions in smaller formats, best showcase the solutions that the ceramic product can offer within different architectural designs.
In the center of the exhibiting floor, next to the system of tubulars and wall frames, three “totems”: these are compositions of different volumes and collections, covered in porcelain stoneware, with additions of other materials, such as lacquer and glass, which combine several types of products to create real three-dimensional mood boards.
The lower floor, designed as a more operational area, houses the material library, organized on a fabric wall system displaying the entire catalogue, and two large tables to explore samples and create pairings.
Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s new showroom in Milan is designed not just for architects, designers and people who are curious about ceramic products and want to find the best solution or receive advice and technical assistance, but also to host exhibition and events dedicated to architecture and become a culturally vibrant meeting point throughout the year.