Right in the center of town, steps away from the Trevi Fountain and Piazza di Spagna, Rinascente created its second flagship store. The building, located in Via del Tritone on the corner with Via dei Due Macelli, has been carefully restructured over the course of 11 years, which included the archeological site brought to light during the constructions works, the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct that Emperor Augustus inaugurated in the Year 19 BCE.
Vincent Van Duysen Architects took the role of leading concept designer for key public area in the new building such as the overview of the exterior facades renovation, the general layout strategy at ground floor and first floor levels, multi-brand retail areas and the interior design for the main feature within the project: a defining architectural element called “cavaedium”, a central court that brings light and splendour to every floor.
Rome’s new La Rinascente department store provides a magnificent example of how the past and present engage in dialogue and together create a new retail experience, a building that perfectly balances ancient and modern. Vincent Van Duysen’s façade design highlights the repetition of architectural elements creating a sense of harmonious unity that defines the concept of a contemporary and sober expression.
Besides taking in consideration the particularities of the site or the ornamental expression of the existing Palazzos, the design is truly inspired by the scale, proportion and hierarchy of Italian architecture. From the classic references such as Bramante’s Cloister in Rome, to the Italian modernist architecture from 20’s & 30’s. For the central court design, it was important to create a public atmosphere, still framing the different spaces of all different retail departments in a sober and theatrical way. The hierarchy and rhythm of different architecture elements define a structural and tectonic grid; the contrast between warm travertine stone and dark bronze panelling enhances the tactility and depth of the composition, creating playful frames of action and experiences at every walkway. At the same time, the urban structure of the Italian cities, with multiple squares and public spaces, was a strong source of inspiration while defining the retail floor layouts.
The design of all retail fixtures followed the principles of the architecture, with refined details and craftsmanship completing the design as a whole perspective.Through a careful selection of materials and a strong architectural design approach, the project truly respects Rome’s unique heritage yet bringing a new identity and soul to LA Rinascente department store.
Marco Beck Peccoz
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