The mission was that of designing the first ever large scale façade for Furla, an Italian brand founded in 1927, specialized in bags and accessories. During the last decade the brand expanded its business worldwide and it is now widely popular in Asia, especially in Japan and China.
In the APAC area it is very common for companies that rent stores on the external perimeter of a shopping mall to take care of the setting up of the mall’s façade. In 2016, Furla had the chance to rent a location in a very visible position, with a 400sqm façade. The store is located along Wangfujing Street in the Dongcheng District, a very popular commercial area in Beijing, close to the Forbidden City and therefore surrounded by a high traffic of both domestic and international tourists.
In this kind of environment, the aim of the brand was to have a special façade designed specifically for that location, even if the internal part of the store was to be designed using the current concept of the brand’s stores.
The idea on which the design was created was that of realizing a 3D version of the Furla corporate pattern – that is a black and white chessboard – and to use it to play with the larger scale of the façade.
The façade had to be realized between the existing wall and the external glass of the building. The distance between the two isn’t fixed, but it changes according to the shape of the building, that isn’t flat and regular.
The façade is composed by three different layers, created to obtain a 3D effect inside the given space: the first one, glued to the back wall, is a goldish and white chessboard made of 5 x 5 cm squares; the second layer is composed by 25 x 25cm metal tiles, hanging at distance of around 12 cm from the back wall; the third one is composed by backlit metal tiles hanging at a distance of 22 cm from the wall. The second and third layers create a secondary chessboard design that is added to the goldish and white one, detached from the wall and with a wider scale.
The backlit tiles illuminate the whole façade and create two different images during the daytime and the nighttime. During the daytime their light is not visible, and all the metal tiles appear to be white. On the contrary, during the nighttime the backlit tiles, that are closer to the glass, look dark while the other tiles look white because they are illuminated by the backlit tiles. This way a new pattern emerges and creates an elaborate and luminous weave on the façade. The goldish and white background pattern adds richness to the whole effect, and its shiny touch is especially enhanced during the nighttime.
The structural ribs that interrupt the façade dividing one side from the other are cladded with polished stainless steel that reflects the rest of the façade like a mirror, this way creating an illusion of continuity.
The overall impression is a glamorous image that recalls the brand’s defining pattern and the richness and the refinement of Furla’s products. The interiors were designed by the Furla Design Team according to the corporate concept.
The studio Cristofori Santi Architetti was founded on a partnership dating back to 2005. Its core services are architecture for private clients and companies, interior and retail design. It has carried out and is currently involved in numerous projects in Europe and in China where the studio has been working since 2008. Down the years the practice has developed its range of services for private concerns and companies with projects which are a blend of creativity, pragmatism and simplicity, always placing the emphasis on attention to detail, research, artisan support and excellence in communications.