What role does the flagship store play in company branding strategies? In a talk curated by Interni, architects and managers discussed it in the new Arrital showroom in Milan
From Displays to Urban Connections is the title of the talk curated by Interni with Arrital that was held in the brand new showcase of the brand that has been a point of reference in the kitchen sector for 45 years: the showroom in Corso Europa, Milan, inside a historic building designed by Vico Magistretti and renovated with an architectural project by the AMDL CIRCLE studio of Michele De Lucchi. Inside, on June 24, several exponents of the project culture moderated by Patrizia Catalano, investigated the centrality that these 4.0 points of sale have assumed in the company's branding strategies.
After greetings from Arrital’s general manager, Christian Dal Bo, the debate was opened by Gilda Bojardi, director of Sistema Interni, who recalled how the activity of her magazine (freshly seventy years old) also includes the conception and coordination of events and exhibitions organized to encourage a meeting between those who design, those who produce and those who distribute. After defining the Arrital flagship store as “a stage created to encourage socialization and sharing of ideas”, Bojardi gave the floor to Michele De Lucchi, author of the operation to renovate the interiors of the Arrital flagship.
De Lucchi explained the three points that fascinated him and therefore pushed him to accept the company's proposal to design the new shop window: its location in the area of ​​Piazza San Babila, where the first Memphis showroom once stood, a group in which the architect played a leading role; then the honor of working on a building designed by the great Magistretti; then the idea of ​​working in a sector, that of kitchens, in rapid and continuous change, a true thermometer of design changes that, starting from this very environment, will invest the entire way of conceiving homes.
With his usual modesty, Michele De Lucchi then summarized the scope of his intervention on the showcase by saying that he had limited himself to connecting three completely isolated floors through a red staircase “that Vico would have liked”. Then speaking was Franco Driusso, architect and art director of Arrital, who explained how the store on Corso Europa goes beyond the concept of a point of sale in favor of a place that, in addition to displaying products, also showcases the intangible values ​​of the company.
An experiential space – also from an olfactory point of view, thanks to the presence of a series of diffusers of a peculiar essence developed by the company specifically to identify its ‘places’ – in which the act of purchasing becomes secondary and in which it is possible to collect data relating to the needs of consumers and then use them to intercept changes in their taste. Massimo Salamone, architect and president of the Milano Durini Design District, instead reiterated the importance of the theme of connections and how the MDD project, rejecting the idea of ​​working in an individualistic way, has extended to include urban planning, working on city places to create a soul, a personality that has cuisine as a trait d’union.
Cesare Chichi, finally, architect and founder of the 967arch studio with which he has mainly designed spaces for offices, laboratories, hotels and residential buildings, stated that "a store, today, is a point of training, hospitality and sharing. A design flagship store stands out for its ability to attract, while a showroom office is a B2B design, usually aimed precisely at those who deal with the same business. But we are trying to be less rigid and more scenographic".