What is a book today? And what does the Duomo Square represent for the Milanese and the city’s guests? These are the questions that the creative team of Destination BU of Il Prisma asked themselves when designing the new Mondadori bookstore. The design concept developed around three key ideas: bookstore and book; Duomo Square; history of Mondadori. The final result is a new destination for present, past and future culture — a unique flagship bookstore, which spreads over three floors, one of which is underground, for a total area of about 1,800 square meters. An emotional and experiential place, capable of generating surprise and amazement, curiosity and pleasure, a sense of discovery and reward — in a nutshell, emotions without limits.
The project of the new Mondadori Duomo bookstore contains a fascinating challenge: not only to tell, through the spaces of the new flagship bookstore, the values of Mondadori as a disseminator of culture and ideas for the wider audience of readers, combining history and tradition with innovation and development, but also to enhance the Duomo Square as a unique and iconic location of Milanese culture.
In the design, great attention was paid to energy improvement and the quality of the interior spaces, the quality of lighting and air, water management and the type of materials used with low-environmental impact, but also to the quality of the experience of the customer's visit to the bookstore. All this allowed the new bookstore to undertake the process of obtaining LEED certification for Interior Design & Construction (ID+C), the coveted Gold level.
Thanks to the concept and experience design developed by Il Prisma, the Mondadori Duomo becomes an emotive and experiential bookstore. A unique place, where the book returns to be the true protagonist. The bookstore’s ground floor featuring a system of arches generates amazement. Natural light filters through ample glass skylights emphasized by an installation of suspended sheets that conceptually invite you to fly high, to dream and stretch beyond your limits. Thanks to its flexibility, it can host Mondadori events that are completely open to public and mingle the experience in an all-encompassing way, while creating iconic and engaging moments. On the raised ground floor, a balcony was built to create a second display level inside the bookstore: it generates visual continuity with the ground floor and stimulates a multidirectional visitor flow. On the underground floor, there are different thematic areas, designed as immersive, experiential and sensorial spaces, within which specific and imaginary worlds of reading are exploded — analogically and digitally. The Kids area, with wooden trees, reading platforms, soft seats carved into the bookcases, invites the visitor to live an immersive experience of books. After entering the circular room, the child finds her/himself catapulted into a story, in an embracing space. The settings become dynamic and interchangeable thanks to a projection system that projects images and videos of stories in 360 degrees on all the internal curved walls of the room.
“A bookstore in all respects, where you can fully experience the world of books. The new Mondadori Duomo represents a unique project for our network, in a highly iconic square. Ultimately, it wants to be a place for meeting and disseminating ideas, a cultural and experiential pole at the service of the whole city and everyone who wants to experience it”. – Carmine Perna, CEO Mondadori Retail.
Il Prisma is an international architecture and planning firm with Italian origins, designing spaces and experiences for the human being. The company has offices in London, Milan, Rome and Lecce, and is divided in 3 Business Units: Cityscape, Worksphere and Destination.
Design Human Life: the way humans live and the architectures they inhabit have always been our focus of attention. We believe that every change needs adequate space to happen. We act in the area of convergence between people and organizations to design spaces rich with life, work and involvement. In a nutshell, we design human life.