Almini Shoe Store Extension
The expansion of the Almini boutique in via Bagutta in Milan broadens and extends the spatial, formal and material choices of the small adjacent flagship store - also designed by CZA - in line with the ever greater articulation of the product and image of the brand.
The role of an exhibition and sales space like this is similar to that of the sound box of a musical instrument capable of giving fullness and generating resonances around the melody produced by the strings. The interior architecture of the store produces an atmosphere that is both precious and discreet around shoes and leather goods with perfect and inimitable workmanship.
The new entrance on via Bagutta takes the form of a round arch inscribed in the geometry of the existing portal; if its profile resonates with the motifs of the historic architecture of the neighbourhood, the material and chromatic consistency of oxidized brass reinterprets it in a contemporary key. Its sharp profile allows a complete view of the stone of the neoclassical archivolt, and its splay – which deforms on the left – frames the entrance glass door. The theme of the brass frame with an oval-shaped profile distinguishes not only the existing windows but also the display supports of the interiors on an ideal continuity with the best examples of post-World War II shop architecture, one of which is the splendid Manzoni gallery.
The interior design and furnishings pieces – the display units projecting from the background in capitonné cloth with gold buttons, the trays projecting from the grooved oak cabinet and supported by slender metal supports, the stucco vault and the large mirror decorated with the Almini braid motif – are an explicit homage to the great season of post-World War II Milanese architecture and design, whose formal refinement and attention to detail is now envied by the whole world, as is the inimitable class of Almini shoes and accessories.
In a world increasingly capable of copying existing motifs, the Almini flagship store wants to demonstrate the vitality of an “Italian design” proud of its identity and at the same time open to a global reality.