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Elle Decor Italia

Palazzo Bovara is home to the Elle Decor Concept Store: a must-have retail experience

Discover the Elle Decor Concept Store, a brand new shopping experience in-between analogical and digital, through the words of its protagonists

Stefano Pavesi

On the occasion of the Milano Design Week 2017, the Elle Decor Concept Store officially opens its doors at Palazzo Bovara. Announced by quite an intriguing headline: “The New Shopping Experience”, such innovative retail affair has seen the collaboration of several excellences and creative deus ex machina’s, like Future Concept Lab as consumer insight, GamFratesi for the set up, AKQA for the interaction design and Marco Bay in the role of landscape designer. 

All of them gathered in Palazzo Bovara’s private courtyard, embraced by the bamboo sculptural architectures by Marco Bay, to unveil this unique project standing at the core of the Elle Decor galaxy, “not only a brand, a paper magazine and a website, but also a multimedia world both belonging and nourishing a wider international editorial network”, so the CEO of Hearst Italia Giacomo Moletto explained while welcoming guests.

From the left: Massimiliano Ventimiglia, Linda Gobbi, Cristina Tajani and Giacomo Moletto. PH: Stefano Pavesi

The project results from an artful mix of different skills and disciplines, as underlined by Cristina Tajani, Alderman for the Labour Market Policies, Productive Activities, Trade and Human Resources of the municipality of Milan. She referred to the Elle Decor Concept Store as “one of the most relevant and prestigious realities made available by the city during the Milano Design Week – indeed, an ideal cocktail of business, high culture and communication. The exhibition is openly addressed to Milan and its crowd as a synonym with the combination of technology and design on which the city’s administrative and political management is built.”

Livia Peraldo Matton and Enrico Fratesi

“This is a journey in the analogical and digital world happening inside a period townhouse: a place where the past, present and future collide, and a fine reflection on the constantly evolving retail dynamics in the age of e-commerce and interior design hybridised with digital technologies”, according to Head of Elle Decor Italia, Livia Peraldo Matton. “We purposely revisited the furniture showroom archetype with fresh new eyes by devoting each habitat to a different experience: the displayed objects feature ad hoc tags providing customers with all necessary information for creating their own personal moodboard, and shop windows are turned into lively storytellers. Imagination plays a key role here, and gives shape to a project aimed at generating an actual dimension where people might feel at ease, get stimulated and also offered customised assistance interior decor-wise.”

Linda Gobbi, co-founder and partner of Future Concept Lab, sees the Elle Decor Concept Store as the output of “several extensive researches made on the intersections between technological progress and design, through which a bottom-up creativity is able to turn mere costumers into ‘custom-authors’. Contemporary technology is a trigger for emotional responses and ever-changing identities which are fed by memories. That is why we launched a creative and innovative process focused on making the retail world smoothly adapt to the new circumstances.”

Enrico Fratesi of studio GamFratesi took care of the exhibition design that “far from being a mere setting, it is rather a message and a twist of men-centred experiences. Shop windows and dressing rooms got rid of stores’ conventional aseptic feel in favour of a more intimate, cozy and interactive environment.” 

According to Managing Director of AKQA, Massimigliano Ventimiglia, “technology is a silent and integrated building material, a useful means for crossing the boundaries between analogical and digital and create a retail experience conceived so as to last longer than a quick visit to the store.”

Marco Bay

In such a feast of technology and design, “nature is obviously a must”, as stated by landscape designer Marco Bay. “The sculptural bamboo architecture in the garden is an ideal extension of the porch columns, while the upper level is arranged to include garden plants like false papyrus, asparagus, fern, moss and alocasia, in the name of indoor-outdoor fluid continuity.”

Elle Decor Concept Store, The New Shopping Experience
Palazzo Bovara, corso Venezia 51, Milano.
Free entry, open every day until 28/4.
Opening times: Mon. 3rd April, h 15.00-20.00;
from Tue. 4th to Fri. 28th April, h 10.00-20.00 

Consumer insight: Future Concept Lab 
Exhibition design: GamFratesi
Interaction design: AKQA
Landscape design: Marco Bay
Ceramic surfaces: Florim
Automotive experience: MINI
Home appliances: Samsung 
Lighting partner: Flos
Official sparkling: Cantine Ferrari
Mediapartner: Archiproducts
Augmented reality: Sayduck
Partner: Adicolor, Alessi, Alpi, Baxter, Boffi, Corradi, Culti Milano, De Padova, Dedar, Golran, Kartell, Lema, Living Divani, Miniforms, Mirabello Carrara, Molteni&C, Moroso, Plust, Poliform, Porro, Roda, Tacchini, Technogym
Tecnical partners: Besana Moquette, Itlas, Lapalma, Madreperla, Sahco Italia, Techlit, Voleno Vetri, Wall&decò
Special thanks: CITA

by Carlotta Marelli / 5 April 2017


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