Stone from IL Casone in Elle Decor Caffe'
Elle Decor Caffé: during the week of the Salone del Mobile (Milan, April 16-21), the show room Diadora in via Tortona 27 transformed its look into a contemporary space to visit and experience the magazine’s style of furnishing and design curated by Hachette Rusconi.
The 600 square meters, executed by FrassinagoLab, offered a space furnished with a bar and an area to relax for those who attended the convention. The space is a juxtaposition of styles from the natural to the artificial, utilizing both opaque and mirrored objects which are both linear and dynamic.
The stone which IL CASONE provided graces the external pavement areas and helps to interpret the concept of this space which was inspired by Italian metropolitan spaces such as recounted in this interview with Gianluca Rossi and Marcello Bozzarelli from FrassinagoLab.
Where did the concept of the Elle Decor Caffé come from? Was there one singular idea in particular that guided you from the first moment you began your planning?
The idea for the entire project began with the concept of large urban spaces and transformed into that of metropolitan areas. The suburbs, by nature are far away and “hidden” by the city itself, yet today are being included and utilized as locations to welcome areas which are dedicated to art. The origins of the Caffè Elle Décor come from their line of white colored products designed for coffee bars and restaurants which optimize these spaces within large urban areas. The concept of this project was realized by utilizing the magazine as a guide, such as in the case of the entrance area which serves as the “cover page” of the project. All of the subsequent spaces are the various “chapters” of the magazine and this is a concept which is easily identifiable with the Elle Decor.
When one designs a space that will be utilized for leisure time, one tries to imagine the sensations that the patrons will experience upon entry. What key ideas led you in this area and what characteristics were important when making these decisions?
Certainly the space had to represent, in the best possible way, the concept of Elle Decor. In fact, throughout the initial design phases of the architectural project itself, we dedicated ourselves to assimilating this concept into a consolidated image for the magazine which is devoted to furnishings and design.
Elle Decor Caffé is a space with a very short lifespan and in fact will be demolished at the conclusion of the Salone Del Mobile. How would you have imagined the space if it were not solely a temporary structure?
We think that the project would have been exactly the same, and in fact, our ideas towards the space supersede the fact that it is only temporary. We wanted to create strong emotions on impact that could have, in reality, changed from one zone, or area, to another regardless of its lifespan.
Surfaces which are shiny but also opaque, mirrored accents and stone floorings. What guided you to make these choices of materials which are so different from one another?
The opaque surface areas were necessary to finish the spaces which were divided into various sectors and it permitted us to differentiate between them. The mirrored surfaces were utilized to reflect both the nature and the skyline of the external spaces (which were visible through large windowed areas) in addition to the people who were visiting the convention who could have lost its meaning in the limited space.
Speaking of the materials, today there has been a new discovery of the natural. How present is this sensibility in the world of Italian design?
We think that the presence of natural elements in design depends upon the sensibility of the designers, and in fact, we find it completely natural to use resin, ceramic or polycarbonate.
Perhaps maybe we need to understand better the characteristics of each singular material and learn about their origin, finishing process and eventual disposal issues before utilizing the word natural. Unfortunately, this term is often misinterpreted and used inappropriately.
Pietra Serena from IL CASONE is utilized in many of your projects: Frassinago18, Fdiciotto and now in the creation of the ElleDecorCaffè. What are the characteristics which render this stone so versatile both in indoor and outdoor spaces?
The Pietra Serena inofitself includes many aspects which are sought after by a designer and in this case they come all in one material. The sought after characteristics include its neutrality, its warmth and chromatic gradation of the surface. In addition we must consider its adaptability, ease of substitution, availability and the relatively moderate costs with respect to other similar materials.
Stone materials can be therefore utilized in a wide variety of applications. Do they have a hidden potential? And if so how can they be better utilized?
We think that the possibilities of the stone are almost infinite, especially today, being that we have available technology which permits us to create the finest cut of the material and therefore reduce its weight.
At this time we are finalizing a project with IL CASONE to valorize the Pietra Serena in a way that will permit it to transform surface areas which are often similar between one another and which will give life to real sheets of stone wallpaper.