Italian design brand Driade has officially opened its new Milan showroom by David Chipperfield Architects – one of the British architect's first projects as the company's artistic director (+ slideshow).
The 500-square-metre flagship showroom at 8 Via Borgogna opened yesterday to reveal the minimal design by David Chipperfield, whose role at Driade was announced last November.
Spread across three staggered floors, the all-white space provides a neutral backdrop for the brand's decorative and colourful products, by designers including Philippe Starck, Ross Lovegrove and Fabio Novembre.
"The bright, open space allows interplay between the products as they appear in an alternating sequence of iconic classics and the latest additions to the line," said a statement from Driade.
Visitors enter through a door in the large glass shopfront, arriving at the middle level; a long thin space running parallel to the street that is illuminated by large windows.
Small products are showcased on white cabinets beneath the windows, while pendant lights hang from the ceiling.
Larger objects are displayed on a low plinth that extends from the second step of a staircase, which changes direction twice before reaching the upper floor.
The stairs and balconies that look down from the top level are guarded using panels of diamond-patterned wire mesh, stretched across rectangular metal frames.
From the entrance, a wide flight of stairs also leads down to further display spaces on the lowest floor – tucked under the top floor.
Large openings in the walls allow glimpses of the products on show downstairs from the central level.
Chipperfield was appointed creative director by Driade's new owners, Italian Creation Group, who rescued the company from financial ruin in June 2013.
His design for the showroom marks the relaunch of the brand, which aims to merge its previous style with a pared-back aesthetic.
"The goal is for this showroom to be the ultimate embodiment of Driade's identity," said the brand's CEO, Stefano Core.
"It is more than just a shop: it is a genuine exhibition gallery. It was crucial to have a venue to represent us and this is just the first step on a journey that the company has begun."
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Chipperfield is also currently working on the renovation of Mies van der Rohe's Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, while his museum and gallery complex in a converted steel factory in Milan is nearing completion.