Dezeen Magazine

Earth Stations by Michele De Lucchi for Poltrona Frau promo

Michele De Lucchi to debut his Earth Stations workplace in Milan

Dezeen promotion: architect Michele De Lucchi will turn Poltrona Frau's flagship store into a futuristic workplace during Milan design week.

Called Connecting Experiences, De Lucchi's takeover of Italian furniture brand Poltrona Frau's Milan flagship store will see the space turned into a prototype of his Earth Stations.

The architect will divide the space into several "nodes", each one encouraging visitors to engage in work, leisure or communication. An exhibition including renders and models that will introduce visitors to the Earth Stations, will also be placed in the store.

De Lucchi, an Italian architect, has spent two years researching how the evolution of technology will help humans design their work environments in the future to allow them to get closer to nature.

"Earth Stations are active architectures that form networks that are easy to reach and are built in places that form or regenerate urban and infrastructural nodes," said De Lucchi.

"They respond to our evolving lifestyles where artificial intelligence increasingly frees man from bureaucratic and repetitive tasks, establishing an opportunity to create places that express personal freedom and harness the enormous potential of technology."

Earth Stations by Michele De Lucchi for Poltrona Frau promo
Crown Station is a conceptual workspace design by Michele De Lucchi

The space will be based on two concept Earth Stations he developed called Mountain Station and Crown Station.

Mountain Station is designed as a conference space that could perch on top of a mountain, for city-based workers to retreat to find inspiration. Accessible by cable car, De Lucchi imagined an organic form wrapped in a breathable membrane that would protect visitors from extreme weather conditions.

Suspended over a natural gorge or canyon, Crown Station was designed as a double bridge with a crenelated profile that would hold events and education spaces. Its shape and setting is designed to both symbolise and encourage the connection of ideas.

Connecting Experiences will be the first time that De Lucchi's Earth Stations research is presented to the public.

Poltrona Frau's store occupies a former palazzo, and in its interior courtyard De Lucchi is building a pavilion as the base for the Earth Station. A wooden double skin will mark the transitions between different zones, and trees and plants will be dotted around the space to encourage visitors to connect with nature.

Poltrona Frau, which has been collaborating with De Lucchi for seven years, has selected a range of its furniture designs to complement the Connecting Experiences installation.

The Norman Foster-designed Cove lounge chair will be used for the work zones, along with Lievore - Altherr - Park's office system Trust and the Fred desk by Roberto Lazzeroni.

Foster + Partners design a chair to facilitate focus work in public spaces
The Norman Foster-designed Cove chair by Poltrona Frau will define the work areas

A large co-working space will have free Wi-Fi and Apple products such as MacBook Air's and iPad Pro's for people to use, along with a reading room and a coffee bar with a soundtrack curated by Rolling Stone magazine.

Lectures and workshops on topics ranging from sustainability to privacy, from speakers such as Roberto Palomba, Alberto Lievore and Pietro Gottardi, will be held in the learning area.

There will also be a cinema screening design-related films and documentaries, and an exhibition of De Lucchi work that will include models and renderings.

The leisure areas will be furnished with Renzo Frau's 1912 design for the Chester One sofa, the Let it Be sectional from Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, and Marie Massaud's modular Gran Torino seating.

Connecting Experiences will be at via Manzoni 30, Milan from 8 April. Find out more about Poltrona Frau on the brand's website.