Welcoming, minimal, materic, elegant.
Michele De Lucchi has created the new space in Milan of Listone Giordano, at Via Santa Cecilia 6, with large windows facing Via San Damiano, as a gathering place, a site of interaction but also calm, in contact with wood in all its natural purity.
An ‘arena,’ as the name indicates, not just a showroom, but also a place of discussion and learning, regarding the major themes of nature and human sensitivity.
The building which in the 1930s contained the famous restaurant La Penna d'Oca – the home of Futurist cuisine – designed by Gio Ponti, conserves traces of the frontage on the canal that once flowed along Via San Damiano. The windows once opened directly to the water, in a completely different Milan. In the past, the space that now hosts the Arena was a sostra, a facility for the storage of coal, in an 18th-century building positioned on what used to be the ring of the canals.
The delicate operation of restoration of the building has brought to light columns, arches and vaulted ceilings in stone that form an enclosure of Renaissance proportions. An open amphitheater has been created here for presentations, conferences and the display of products.
A light walkway, suggesting the typical Milanese balcony accessways, connects the three levels of the space, joined by a basement used for storage. The rooms on the upper levels reflect the 19th-century character of the building.
The true protagonist of the facility is wood, in all its forms, bearing witness to the intrinsic value of this living material par excellence, alongside other materials that have been part of the history of mankind.
Respect for the past also takes concrete form in the choice of appropriate materials: the floors in hammered Aurisina stone of the large display area are in tune with types of stone uncovered during the course of the restoration.
“On the ceiling a model of the Earth Stations has been suspended to indicate that the Arena is an evolution of the showroom concept. It is a display space of the future, no longer based on the seller-buyer relationship, but on cultural, emotional exchange and the transfer of knowledge,” says Michele De Lucchi.