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Fendi Showroom

Peter Marino Architects

Peter Marino’s design idea takes its cue from the Fendi tradition dating back to the Twenties in Rome. A strong link is seen between the city and the brand. This results in the choice of quintessentially Roman materials, such as travertine with its horizontal striations, cobblestones and rust encrusting the marble fountains. In his design Marino hints at Roman architectural motifs, but then uses avant-garde technology typical of so-called “non standard” architecture. His mandate was first and foremost to design a “store prototype”, an “architectural concept” embodying the brand identity. The prototype would then be developed by Marino’s studio, as well as by Fendi technical staff and various local architects, in drawing up plans for individual stores across the globe.
Although plans for the individual store were theoretically to be kept in line with an approved design archetype, it was Marino’s first important essay in designing a specific store in Rome that established the pattern for the “concept”. Set in the heart of the capital, the Rome shop had to bow to the stringent planning and structural restrictions binding on palazzo Boncompagni Ludovisi. Marino made the best of the rigid existing structure by focusing on room design: each store department picks out a signature that suits the goods on display. It is linked as a whole by a series of horizontal and vertical axes which work as a microcosmic allusion to certain spatial Baroque motifs.
The challenge in New York was adhere to the clearly Roman concept.
In actual fact the structural state of the Fifth Avenue building afforded much greater freedom. It is a framework of steel girders and reinforced concrete floors. This proved less constraining and in some cases more scenically expressive than Rome. The façade of the New York store enabled Marino to move beyond interior architecture to extend the brand in terms of architecture of the street. The plinth forming the lower façade had been unhappily...

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