Almini Shoe store
- Italy, Milan
Almini is a shoe manufacturer which just started a new line of men’s high-end shoes, and this is the first of a series of stores planned in the world. The store is located in Via Bagutta, in an old building within the “fashion district”. The shop articulates the constraints and the tightness of the existing location into two distinct spaces, the main one with shelves and tables and a smaller “alcove” with a semi-oval apse which reflects itself into a wall-to-wall mirror.
In partial opposition to the widespread shop design which tries to evoke the attribute of masculine elegance referring to the abused paradigm of a fictious “English style”, the character of the Almini Shop tries to pick up the interrupted legacy of a Modern shop design where abstraction conjugated with precious detailing and warm material.
This “modern tradition”, from Adolf Loos’ Knize shop in Vienna to the Galtrucco stores in Milano, constitutes for us a sort of foundation on which to search a contemporary language. Architecture becomes a warm background of a superb handicraft, resonating with its sophistication and craftsmanship. The brass oval boxes on the warm grey felt upholstery of the walls, the shiny brass buttons holding it in place, the oak table and shelf, the large mirror over the grey stucco walls, all want to generate a warm atmosphere with an intentional slight “outdated” tone.Without any direct quotation or nostalgic image, the project accepts all the overtones and resonances of the post-WWII design and architecture scene in Milan, which gave form to a material culture still present today.