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Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like "spider webs" for Italian ceramic brand

Italy Architecture News - Jul 05, 2022 - 15:24   1143 views

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Barcelona-based architecture practice Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects has created colorful interiors for the new showroom of the prestigious Italian ceramics brand Ceramiche Ragno in Milan, Italy

Named Ceramiche Ragno Showroom, the 400-square-metre showroom is the studio's first flagship showroom in Milan and placed with its large arched windows overlooking via Marco Polo in the iconic Porta Nuova district.

Benedetta Tagliabue, director of Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects, has interpreted the interior space as a kaleidoscope of colours, textures and patterns that reflect a surprising story of the brand’s history.

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The interiors combine the high-quality of technical and craftsmanship skills, while revealing all the expressive potential of ceramics. 

The studio aimed to reflect the values of the brand in a spider web-like layout that takes cues from the brand's first trademark depicted a stylised spider.

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

"The idea of displaying the Ragno collections through large structures simulating a spider's web came to us from the history of the company, whose first trademark depicted a stylised spider," said Benedetta Tagliabue.

"A spider is able to create such a powerful material and weave its home out of it, and that it is also used as a trap, is a work that has been highly perfected over thousands (or millions) of years, and is very fascinating," Tagliabue added.

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The Ragno space presents the different ceramic and stoneware collections through a completely new exhibition method that traps the visitor with three different types of spider webs.

First of all, an organic form catches the visitor's eye right from the street, through the display windows, a succession of arches that define the rooms by large lateral spaces in which large windows overlooking the inner courtyard allow natural light to enter.

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Upon entering the space, visitors are welcomed by an artistic installation made up of different structures of complex geometry that surrounds them with colours and textures. 

Later they arrive at the more rational "spider's web" type that displays the collection of products as in a museum, where the ceramics are the works of art.

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

"The wide range of Ragno collections has allowed us to embellish this canvas, which is nothing more than a veritable library of materials, with different colours and finishes, creating a truly unique and evocative story within the entire space," explained Tagliabue.

"The flooring is the other decidedly interesting aspect of this project," Tagliabue continued, "a single large mosaic, a true polychrome work of art that demonstrates the super power of stoneware to bring together glossy and matt collections with different material inspirations, from wood to marble, from cement to stone, in an absolutely harmonious and natural way".

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The interiors are wrapped by continuous mosaic on the floor to create dialogues with the collections hanging from the wooden structures, suggesting further combinations and readings of the materials in the different rooms and accompanying the visitor on a creative and evocative journey to the meeting rooms.

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The polychrome mosaic theme also characterises the walls of the rooms overlooking the internal courtyard and the bathrooms which, like the spacious kitchen, use the large slabs of the marble- effect stoneware collection in a play of cuts, chiaroscuro and different textures.

"A visit to the new Ragno showroom is a true aesthetic experience, culminating in the meeting room where visitors will find a beautiful original artistic tribute to Giorgio De Chirico, his brother Alberto Savinio and the Marazzi factory, represented in its original architecture in a drawing from 1966," stated in a press release by the office. 

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Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT also designed polychrome mosaic which is made of small, brightly coloured tiles, reinterpreting one of the metaphysical paintings from the anthology ‘Le piazza d’Italia’.

The studio preferred to use three main elements in this project:  the space, as neutral and clean as possible with warm colours and lights to enhance the ceramic as if it were a work of art; the ceramic, which is the protagonist and, last but not least, the wood. 

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The latter is the material chosen for the installations, furniture and doors to design a showroom where customers feel at home, in a warm and welcoming space.

"The lightness and extra-ordinary dimensions of the large, thin stoneware slabs stand out in their entirety next to the small ceramics of the ceramics collection, which decorate the large display cases, hooked to a system of tie rods typical of sailing boats that once again simulates the geometry of a spider's web," added the press statement. 

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The furniture also plays a very important role in this new space. Three tables designed by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, the special "Inestable", "Dolmen" and "Tronco", have been made to measure in collaboration with the carpentry firm La Navarra in Madrid. 

The 8-drawer design of the "Estudi" table has also been adapted to store the tile samples. All the chairs were produced by Midj and carefully selected in warm colours and natural leather.

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The Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT office has distinguished itself over the years for its installation and retail projects that dialogue with craftsmanship, nature, sustainability and tradition: from the iconic roof with handmade ceramics of the Mercat de Santa Caterina, reminiscent of the colours of fruit and vegetables from the market, to the striking project of the Spain Pavilion at EXPO Shanghai, where handmade wicker was used for the first time for a large-scale project of advanced structural complexity.

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects creates interiors like

During its career the studio has also designed shops, such as Camper, Castañer, L'Oréal Academy, combining elements of history and art to make the visitor feel at first surprised, and also welcome, at home.

The studio recently won an international competition to design the Conservatory of Music in Shenzhen, China. Last year, the office also won a competition to renovate "Century Square" in Shanghai, China.

Project facts

Project name: Ceramiche Ragno Showroom 

Location: Via Marco Polo 9, Milan, Italy

Client: Marazzi Group

Architects: Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects

EMBT Project Managers: Benedetta Tagliabue, Beatriz Minguez de Molina

Design Team EMBT: Marzia Faranda, Federica Colombi, Sara Manfredini, Gabriele Rotelli, Francesca Paganoni, Yidan Huang, Maria Antonia Franco, Andrea Stevanato, Luca Manca EMBT Management Coordinator: Daniel Rosselló

EMBT Communication Team: Arturo Mc Clean, Lluc Miralles, Ana Gallego

Lighting design: Maurici Ginés - Artec Studio

Design and Completion: June 2021 - April 2022

Area: 400m2

Cost: 900 000€.

Type: Interior Design

Programme: Retail

General contractor: Nimar Industry

Lighting: Bover, Firmamento Milano, Floss, Nemo 

Furniture: An-Trax, Binova, Ideal Standard, Midj in Italy

Surface, Floor and Wall Coverings: Ragno Ceramiche

All images © Tiziano Sartorio, courtesy of Ceramiche Ragno.

All drawings © Benedetta Tagliabue - EMBT Architects.

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