Studiopepe nodded at the Milan stations at La Rinascente

The design and architecture agency Studiopepe is inviting Milan offices and metro stations to renovate the fourth floor of the renowned city department store La Rinascente.

The fourth floor, which houses the women’s clothing department, has been renamed the Milan studio using bold graphic elements and pop colors.

The interior is dotted with vibrant accents, including locker rooms surrounded by orange curtains (pictured above) and Rodolfo Bonetta’s Boomerang armchair (above)

Studiopepe, founded in Milan in 2006 by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pint, they envisioned the space as a series of zones of subtly organized functions and visual references.

Milan jobs from the 1980s, as well as urban rationalist M1 metro station – the latter were designed in 1964 by Italian architects Franco Albini and Franco Helg – were among the inspirations of the studios.

Curved plexiglass shelf with blue carpet trainers on display in Studiopepe's retail interior
A system of curved plexiglass shelves winds through the women’s clothing department

“The use of graphic elements and pop tones that resonate with Milan’s street style conveys a new asexual approach to retail design,” the studio explained.

“The color is conceived as an architectural tool – intense emerald green, silver and black create an unusual palette animated with hints of coral and bright yellow tones.”

An overview of the La Rinascente women's clothing department with a blue carpet and gray displays
The department is accessed by bright yellow stairs

Steel pipes – used to line display poles and create table legs – are a direct reference to the city’s underground stations.

Materials such as satin steel, plexiglass and terrazzo were paired with experimental materials of contrasting textures such as Silipol – a material originally chosen by Albini and Helg to cover the walls of metro stations; Allusion, stabilized aluminum foam used to coat the city’s Fondazione Prada; and Milleform, cotton-based acoustic tiles.

To create a homey feel, the space is equipped with a combination of rounded rounded furniture and display cases, as well as pieces of classic design such as Rodolfo Bonetta’s Boomerang armchair.

The curved satin plexiglass shelving systems that display the coach’s offerings in the store also serve as space dividers.

The characteristic circular locker rooms of this department are enclosed in orange curtains made of structured leather – a feature that Studiopepe said has air conditioning on folding textile doors often used by Italian architect Gio Ponti.

Turquoise stone table and upholstered pouf in Studiopepe's retail interior
Studiopepe used contrasting textures in the interior

The previous incarnation of the women’s clothing department on the fourth floor of La Rinascente was designed by the Japanese studio Nendo. Designed in 2013, the studio relied on architectural elements observed during its exploration of Milan to create a calming, neutral space.

The studio said it was “inspired by unexpected encounters with shop windows, backyard gardens and public squares coming from wandering Milan’s back streets.

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