Project: Giorgio Armani, Sao Paolo

Designer: Claudio Silvestrin Architects

Designer: Claudio Silvestrin Architects

Lighting design: Via Bizzuno

A retail display system for Giorgio Armani was never going to be an off-the-peg affair. Claudio Silvestrin’s design uses the same natural materials found in the chain of Giorgio Armani boutiques – also designed by Claudio Silvestrin – that are currently being built around the world.

The latest is in Sao Paolo, Brazil, a two-storey building that Silvestrin has reclad in Saint Maximin stone. Here, the clothes are displayed in three different ways, but always sparsely. ‘The idea is to give room to the objects themselves,’ says architect Simona Pieri, who was in charge of the Sao Paolo project. ‘We just have two items on each shelf and one per 40cm of counter.’

Silvestrin designed an oxidised brass hanging rail which allows garments to be hung sideways or on the front of the fixture. The second display item is a set of four wall-fixed shelves, the lower one is 10cm thick and made of Saint Maximin stone, which is also used internally on the floor and the wall. The upper three shelves are 1cm thick, made from aluminium with a Marmorino finish so they look like stone.

Finally, free-standing tables around the store are made from ebony, and vary in form to accommodate smaller items like jewellery. The idea is for the wood and stone to age gracefully. ‘All the ebony counters are treated with natural oil so the result is a surface that shows the material,’ says Pieri. ‘Giorgio Armani liked the idea of a very elegant store that was timeless, using natural materials that get older in a natural way so that they get richer with age.’

Silvestrin is now working on further Giorgio Armani stores in the Far East.

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