Camper has teamed up with Milanese architecture studio Piovenefabi to design its new store in Rome, located on one of the city’s most renowned squares, the Piazza di Spagna. The store’s positioning means that it sits in between a number of historical buildings and structures, and as such, the architects opted to reference its surroundings through their design.
In particular, the studio – headed up by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene – focused on an 18th-century stairway that bridges Trinità dei Monti church with the early Baroque-style Barcaccia fountain. Named the “Spanish Steps”, its curving shape, in particular, was something that influenced the architects’ plan for the store, which they built around what they describe as a “Camper Oval”.
“We like to imagine our Camper Oval as a natural contribution to the 1725 staircase project,” they said. “Formally, the Oval reconnects to the Baroque tradition and in Rome, Bernini’s Sant’Andrea al Quirinale is an obvious reference. In our case, the Oval is a form we carved out of a rectangular space.”
To do this, they built an oval-shaped wooden structure that displays the shoes from both the Camper and CamperLab collections but also encircles around shoppers to wrap them within the store. It also separates the retail space from the “technical area”, where the cash desk, storage, and office are located. All in all, they wanted the retail area to feel like an extension of the public realm in which it is located – an idea that came about after researching the maps of Rome drawn by architect Giambattista Nolli in 1748, which designated private spaces and public spaces in black and white respectively.
Aesthetic inspiration for the store came from the murals of British artist David Hockney. With him in mind, Piovenefabi hand-painted wave motifs across the light pink shelves, to contrast with the grey industrial flooring and perforated metal ceiling.
In other design news. the opening date for OMA‘s long-awaited Taipei Performing Arts Centre in Taiwan has been set for August 7, as the architects revealed the finished building in a set of new photographs.