Vescom’s Milan showroom is nestled within the historical Brera district, a hub of art, design and fashion. Like all Vescom showrooms, the design respects both the original architecture – a 19th-century monument – and its surroundings.
The showroom is a touchpoint for the local architectural and design community, who step straight off Foro Buonaparte into an array of different inspiration zones, each with its own function and ambience in a nod to the site’s former life as a residence. The four atmospheres and functions show what’s possible with Vescom’s product range: wallcovering, upholstery and curtain fabrics for the international contract market. Subtle connections unite the diversity of structures, materials and colours in Vescom’s complete collection while leaving enough space for individual creativity.
After entering the building via an arched portal – a motif common to the area – visitors are welcomed in the café. In true Milanese fashion, it’s an informal place for meeting and mingling with an espresso in hand. ‘We wanted a cosy, hospitality-infused space for receiving guests – a beautiful place where we could show our products and share a cup of coffee,’ says Massimo Clerici, managing director of Vescom Italy. ‘Rather than feeling like a traditional office or showroom, we wanted it to be as welcoming as a residence. After all, this is Vescom’s new Milanese home.’ To stretch the piccolo space, the designers visually deconstructed the walls into an assemblage of texture and colour – a collage of Vescom surfaces. Custom designed and produced by Vescom, squares of digitally printed marble – a modern spin on the building’s past and its surroundings – help to create the feeling of ‘windows’ to another space beyond. ‘Old Milanese brasseries would often use mirrors on the walls to make the room feel larger,’ says interior architect Bas van Tol. ‘We wanted that same feeling – without being literal.’ Aside from its conceptual incorporation, the choice of digitally printed marble has a practical application, too: architects are increasingly requesting digital prints, but are often unaware of the impeccable quality Vescom can produce. The café also connects Vescom’s printing expertise with other elements from its full-spectrum offering, with seating upholstered in high-quality Vescom fabrics.
The show/meeting room is intentionally less corporate as well – it’s architectural and monumental, but also intimate. Instead of presenting a curated collection of small product samples, the room is the curated collection. One wall – a graphic patchwork of materials that can be updated to reflect new releases – combines the likes of linens and vinyls to show the cross-collection nature of Vescom products. This sentiment is further strengthened by furniture from leading brands upholstered in luxurious Vescom fabrics. ‘Italy is the home of the furniture industry,’ says Christiane Müller, Vescom’s design director. ‘We can add an extra dimension in terms of colour, material, structure and performance. Yes, these upholstery fabrics may be comfortable and soft, but their high performance also makes them perfect for use in the contract market.’ Acoustic sheer curtains and custom acoustic ceiling panels complete the warm and welcoming yet fresh and fashion-forward interior.
Christiane Müller, Vescom’s design director
While the bathroom shows what you can do with one material – a sole wallcovering, Lismore, is applied to all cupboards and walls – the official Vescom office builds an entire interior from the brand’s own materials. Despite looking out onto a courtyard, the workspace lacked natural light, a situation rectified by a fair-toned material palette. ‘Functionality, atmosphere, narrative: everything is in there, and everything works in harmony,’ says Müller. ‘That’s the story we want to tell.’
Before Vescom’s intervention, the interior was in a state of disrepair: neglected skirting boards and doorframes outlined uneven walls. ‘Interiors are determined by the floor, walls and ceiling,’ says Van Tol, adding that because the presentation of wallcovering requires smooth, even surfaces, his studio decided to completely redefine them. The addition of a membrane – a secondary wall layer – leaves the original architecture undisturbed while straightening and centring the visible surfaces, transforming them into canvases for colour and texture.
Respecting the proportions of the historical building, Van Tol and team framed the ‘floating’ walls in the high-ceilinged space with oversize skirting boards and doorframes. ‘Thick walls are typical in these kinds of buildings,’ says the designer, ‘so we overproportioned the new. The use of black stone underfoot in the deep doorways accentuates the size – and the transition between rooms.’
Vescom showroom Italia
Foro Bonaparte 44a
+39 02 53 54 71