- Year: 2020
- Client: Marsotto edizioni
- Collaborators: Hsieh Hui-Hsi, Yashin Tzeng, Moreno Vannini
- Designer : nendo
- City: Bovolone
- Country: Italy
Text description provided by the architects. A showroom in Milan’s Brera district for the marble manufacturer Marsotto. Replete with ground and basement levels, it exhibits marble furniture, sundries, and samples of processed materials.
In the entrance space on the first floor, a mesh-like partition made of marble covers the stair case in front. It consists of two layers of marble 10 mm thick with 65 mm wide dots perforation, sandwiched between glass sheets. With only 10 mm of width remaining, the partition’s tempered transparency and lightness reduces oppressiveness of the marble constitution, softly drawing visitors to the basement exhibition space. While the ground level allows for the physical experience of superior marble processing techniques, the basement by contrast is spatially structured for visitors to enjoy the allure of marble itself. The basement space is divided into 4 rooms, provided with 5 stages of varying size.
In consideration of the purpose of flexibly accommodating various exhibition layouts as well as bringing out the delicate, hands-on work and qualities of the subjects, the stages were constructed by connecting three white surfaces perpendicularly to each other. Furthermore, melting the inner corner to a smooth surface, like the cyclorama wall of a photo studio, enables the soft diffusion of light while also obscuring the depth of the stage to increase the viewer’s focus on the subject. In the smallest room of the basement, a circular stage was installed and stone samples inserted into the wall, free to be taken in hand.
Below the samples, stools with different finishes are lined up for display, in a unified form to enable the viewer to focus on the varying finishes. In the long and narrow room, Marsotto’s kitchen and dining table, as well as their wall-mounted modular shelving “Place” across an entire wall, making the space suitable not only for exhibitions but also for lunch meetings, as a catering space during events, and many others besides.
While marble makes up the entire showroom facade, its joints are aligned with the existing building exterior in a careful balancing act of both harmonizing and conserving its presence in its surroundings. Additionally, because the traffic circle facing the showroom will soon be greened and turned into a small park, part of the facade was made into impromptu street furniture with a soft recess on it, in the hopes that neighbors might sit as if on a bench and rest for a spell.