Kengo Kuma wraps the inside of Camper's Milan store in a timber grid
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has covered the interior of Camper's Milan store in a grid of pale ply that stretches from floor to ceiling (+ slideshow).
Kengo Kuma's firm was commissioned by Spanish shoe brand Camper to redesign the interior of the company's Monte Napoleone store, in the central shopping district of Milan.
The plywood grid formation the firm created divides the vertical surfaces into a series of cubby-holes for displaying shoes.
This network spreads across the ply-backed walls of the 50-square-metre space, and creeps onto the ceiling in places. It continues across the glass shopfront, which is floored with a warm-coloured gravel, to create a window display.
Shoes and accessories are displayed through the depth of the structure, which was designed around the dimensions of a pair of shoes.
Irregularities in the pattern accommodate the taller heights needed for displaying boots, while smaller items including shoes and handbags occupy a series of 32-by-32-centimetre compartments.
"We have covered all walls around the shop with a system of very humble plywood boards mounted through the most simple and basic intersection joint we could imagine," said a statement from Kengo Kuma and Associates.
"We have conceived this wooden board system to appear in elevation as a simple 32-by-32-centimetre grid, a dimension that simply follows the standard shoe size to display on stores," the studio said.
Tube lights, developed in collaboration with Italian lighting designer Mario Nanni, are set into the underside of the wooden boards, accentuating the linear design and lighting the displays.
Breaks in the latticework makes room for a cash desk, and a series of low benches are also integrated into the design, providing places for customers to sit while trying on Camper's footwear.
The brand name "Camper" is burnt into the light-coloured wood below the counter, while the brand's red signage hangs in the upper portion of the glass shop front.
Pebble-shaped couches upholstered in a neutral-toned hemp fabric sit on the brown stone floor. The flag-stones are made from acidified limestone, which displays signs of erosion that adds texture and variation in tone to the surface.
"This coexisting duality, between simple and basic at first sight, and complex and sophisticated when deeply observed, is what fascinates us from Camper's attitude towards design," said the studio. "It is this dual attitude what we have tried to imply with our design here in this Camper shop in Monte Napoleone."
A mirrored wall at the back of the store reflects the complex structure to create the illusion of additional space, and conceals a door to a stockroom.
Design Team : Javier Villar Ruiz, Jaime Fernandez Calvache
Lighting : Mario Nanni / Viabizzuno
Stone flooring : The Other Collection by Verona Stone