Right in the centre of town, steps away from the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza di Spagna, Rinascente created its second flagship store. The building, located in Via del Tritone on the corner of Via dei Due Macelli, has been carefully restructured over the course of 11 years, which included an archaeological site being brought to light during the construction work.It was Vincent Van Duysen Architects who took the role of leading concept designer for key public areas in the new building, such as the overview of the exterior façade 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: the monumental atrium, 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. The façade design highlights the repetition of architectural elements to create a sense of harmonious unity that defines the concept of a contemporary and sober expression.Besides taking into consideration the particularities of the site and the ornamental expression of the existing palazzi, 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 the 1920s and 1930s.
For the atrium design, it was important to create a public atmosphere, while still framing the different spaces of all the different retail departments in a sober and theatrical way. The hierarchy and rhythm of different architectural 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 experience at every step. At the same time, the urban structure of 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. Through a careful selection of materials and a strong architectural design approach, the project truly respects Rome’s unique heritage yet brings a new identity and soul to La Rinascente department store.
Visit La Rinascente here
Marco Beck Peccoz
IoArch, December 2017
T Magazine - Le Temps, May 2018