Milano Design Week 2021
Milan, 4-10 September 2021
Through an artistic exhibition suspended between reflections and transparencies, in a continuous dialogue between art and design, LAUFEN inaugurates the LAUFEN space Milano, a new concept that joins the other spaces of the Swiss brand in the world.
LAUFEN returns to Milan and does so on the occasion of the Milan Design Week in September 2021 with a new space located on the second floor of an elegant building in via Manzoni. It is the perfect point of contact between the fashion district, Piazza della Scala, the Duomo and Brera, one of the most fascinating districts of the city, synonymous with art and design.
For the opening week LAUFEN space Milano, designed by Matteo Fiorini with Studio LYS, will host a temporary installation created by the same designers with the provocative title ‘Am I open-minded?’. A suspended installation, where LAUFEN products are scattered throughout the space just like sculptures in an art gallery marked by hanging iridescent elements, which reflect the light on the walls and ceiling in a play of colors and transparencies.
At the entrance the visitors can discover a space in the space: LAUFEN presents the first LAUFEN virtual space, a digital artificial world created by the experiential designer Annabelle Schneider in collaboration with the Swiss architects Gabrielle Hächler and Andreas Fuhrimann. The visitor is invited to an immersive digital journey that leads to dreamlike and futuristic bathroom experiences.
In the internal courtyard, which opens onto via Manzoni the visitors can relax under the gaze of the young models portrayed by the international fashion photographer Hugo Comte for the Kartell • LAUFEN campaign and that stand out on the windows around the space.
The question posed by the installation ‘Am I open-minded?’ defines LAUFEN’s vision and the desire to establish, through the various LAUFEN spaces around the world, a dialogue between art, design and architecture. A new showroom concept that moves away from the classic presentation of bathroom environments to a place where debates and suggestions can be triggered, where new forms of visual art can be realized in a continuous change of the space itself.
The temporary installation for the Design Week allows us to understand what the new LAUFEN space Milano will be like: a fluid space, where flexible elements, characterized by transparent and semi-rigid wings delimit the environments to give life to new installations in collaboration with artists and designers. As in a theater – La Scala is not far away – the LAUFEN space Milano is conceived as a stage on which the various voices of LAUFEN come to life in an incredible and surprising brand experience.
Exclusive dinner on the occasion of pre-opening of LAUFEN space Milano
The new Milanese location of the Swiss brand joins the other LAUFEN spaces designed in recent years around the world: from Madrid to Moscow, from Miami to Vienna, from Prague to Berlin. Each space – as well as the LAUFEN Forum in Switzerland – offers, through tailor-made concepts and architectures, a different interpretation of the brand and identity of the Swiss company. The intent for each LAUFEN space is to establish a new dialogue, to keep a glimpse open in a complex moment like this, which responds to the company’s commitment to broader themes and which goes beyond mere communication strategies.
“In this way, each space becomes a local broadcaster that helps to shape and convey the international program, presenting the LAUFEN brand as the urban focus of cultural debates. We’re moving away from prestige. we’re moving towards dialogue.” Roger Furrer, Marketing Director, LAUFEN.
In Berlin, for example, LAUFEN inaugurated last November the new LAUFEN space in a typical Berliner Gründerzeit location in Charlottenburg, in the Western part of the city. Konstantin Grcic, with whom LAUFEN has been collaborating for over ten years designed the new showroom concept for Berlin and created a gallery-like space for experimental concepts, dialogues and exhibitions that goes far beyond the classical product presentation.
The LAUFEN space Madrid was built inside a heritage protected Villa from the early twentieth century in which it was not possible to make any structural interventions on the walls. The interior design was made by Patricia Urquiola, who created, with her contemporary and versatile approach, a framework in front of the walls that is functional for displaying the collections without compromising the ancient elegance and rigor of the internal architecture.
“We want to highlight the brand experience as a seamless and holistic concept which is creating a network of all our spaces around the world, as well as a space for research, interpretation and questioning of existing solutions and concepts”, explains Roger Furrer.
LAUFEN space Milano: the renovation project
The original 125 sqm space was quite dark and fragmented, so the design strategy was to lighten and connect the rooms into a fluid layout with four main areas: the entrance room, open exhibition space, mezzanine, and terrace. It is a space designed for flexibility of use without restriction. Here columns melt into the ceiling, lightweight panels form temporary rooms, and ceiling beams become waves transporting light from above.
The project by Matteo Fiorini with Studio LYS is conceived as an overlapping of layers woven together to show the complexity of the LAUFEN brand. The public and clients will share a brand experience from the products, technical details and their sophisticated materials to image and video installations.
LAUFEN has always been connected to nature. The brand conjures up memories connected to the landscapes of Switzerland. The power of mountains and waterfalls and the sensations of wood, ice, and leaves. This relationship to nature inspired the new ceiling of the space which consists of six 12 meters long slabs descending and bending like waves in movement.
LAUFEN is also a brand with a strong technical and technological focus. Matteo Fiorini and Studio LYS were looking for a system that would allow the use of space to be truly flexible; adapting to new products, events, and exhibitions. The structure is made of extruded aluminum elements that allows for a multiplicity of installations that will highlight the technical excellence and precision of LAUFEN products.
The proximity of the LAUFEN space Milano to the Teatro alla Scala inspired the designers to look to backstage systems in theaters such as fly systems. Here a technical layer has been suspended between ceiling and floor. This grid can change shape, illuminate, emit sound, project videos and suspend objects.
The system allows physical and digital elements to be combined with a certain degree of freedom. LAUFEN space Milano is an evolving space that will transform over time as it hosts interventions by different artists and creatives, product presentations, and events.