For the latest transformation of its Via Manzoni boutique, in the heart of Milan, Valextra has enlisted Japanese architect Kengo Kuma: a visionary master in his field and an exceptional character.
Titled ‘The Forest’, this immersive installation catapults customers and visitors into a magical urban woodland, a fairytale location intended, Kuma explains, for a ‘game of encounters.’
The architect weaves a conversation between space and visitors, who are invited to discover Valextra’s leather goods perched on 136 wooden slats distributed throughout the boutique, weaving a free itinerary across its spaces that is both a spatial experience and visual exploration. The wood is displayed in an apparent casual arrangement throughout the shopfloor, mimicking a forest’s distribution and resulting in an environment that is both familiar and unexpected. This concept lies at the heart of the architect’s personal creative vision: the need to recreate natural lightness in the heart of urban metropoles,an essential requirement for quality of life. Kuma’s approach is respectful of human needs, of the environment and of Planet Earth, and for this project his focus was on contemporary architectural references that he used to create a warm, tactile environment punctuated by hand-crafted, custom-made visual features
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