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 store tries to pick up the interrupted legacy of a Modern shop design where abstraction conjugated with precious detailing and warm material.
The store located in Via Bagutta, in an old building within the “fashion district” it is the first store of Almini’s designed to host the line of men’s high-end shoes.
The project 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. The same spirit and style have been applied to the extension made in 2019, also divided into a display room and a mirrored fitting room.
The entrance door is underlined by a conical-like bronze portal which hides a small display cabinet towards the street.
This “modern tradition”, from Adolf Loos’ Knize shop in Vienna to the Galtrucco stores in Milano, constituted 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mirror over the grey stucco walls, and the portal, all want to generate a warm atmosphere with an intentional slight “outdated” tone.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 the material culture still present today.