Golran Flagship Store

Milan / Italy / 2016

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The first Golran flagship store opened in Via Pontaccio 8, in the heart of Milan’s Brera district, in a space restructured by storagemilano architects with brand art direction by the Francesca Avossa studio. The ancient and prestigious carpet brand identified almost seamlessly with one of the liveliest parts of the city and, rather than relegating its prestige to the history books, it has renewed it through a happy combination of commercial, business and cultural activities and a fusion of art, architecture, design, fashion and entertainment.


The brand name features discretely on the two shop windows and the glass door, framed by the arches in the façade of the eighteenth-century building. The black, which picks out the six elegant letters making up the Golran name, emphasises the candid white that acts as a soundboard for the decoration and the colours of the carpets. The “white cube” concept devised by the Francesca Avossa art direction studio for the trade show installations, that have identified the brand since 2010 along with all the image and communication vehicles, has been replicated.


Everything in the flagship store has been artisan-made and custom engineered to bring maximum functionality and practicality to the minimalist purity of the display spaces, not least the hanging system, which comes in both a wall and a ceiling-mounted version. This adapts easily to fit the space, making for a practical way of shifting the carpets around. The ceiling-mounted version is designed with sliding tracks, and is fitted with spotlights for optimum lighting.


“Following directions and inspiration from Francesca Avossa, our job was to make maximum use of the space and to simplify operations”, said Michele Pasini, founding partner of storagemilano, along with Barbara Ghidoni and Marco Donati. The company has been working on retail projects for internationally renowned fashion brands since 2002, and took on the challenge of a complicated project that demanded simplicity. “The display space called for a different approach from our usual ones. We had to factor in the weights and measurements of the carpets, and then make switching operations as fast and easy as possible, along with the more routine sales activities.”


The vertical and horizontal play of the carpets discloses another protagonist of the space and of the flagship store concept: the stairway that leads invitingly to the lower floor. Enclosed by a mixture of extra-clear and smoked glass walls, and covered with brass, “it is a cascade of gold that leads you down into the treasure chest” added Michele Pasini, highlighting the precious exclusivity of everything the Golran name stands for. It also responds to art director Francesca Avossa’s concept of “valuable things, to be unveiled and discovered by degrees.”


This then leads to the workspace, dominated by a large copper-covered merchant’s chest. Divided into compartments like those of the ancient printing houses, the eleven drawers can store up to 500 samples in an orderly fashion. Behind it a bookcase runs the length of the wall, with sliding shelves on which pieces from the collections are folded, unlike traditional warehouses and shops, in which the carpets are kept piled one onto top of the other.


“The shelves can be completely removed and are a miracle of engineering”, said Pasini. “This makes it easy to remove the carpets and unfold them on the floor with a flourish, so that they can be viewed in their entirety”. The bookcase/materials archive, in the adjacent space, was designed along the same lines but with trays. Both bookcases are made of white lacquered metal, with the visible corners finished with brass plates. The workspace is rounded off by a specially designed large table. The store in Via Pontaccio embodies rituality, sophistication, attention to materials, contemporary design and experimentation with artisan techniques: a project in the round that perfectly identifies the Golran brand. Porzia Bergamasco

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    The first Golran flagship store opened in Via Pontaccio 8, in the heart of Milan’s Brera district, in a space restructured by storagemilano architects with brand art direction by the Francesca Avossa studio. The ancient and prestigious carpet brand identified almost seamlessly with one of the liveliest parts of the city and, rather than relegating its prestige to the history books, it has renewed it through a happy combination of commercial, business and cultural activities and a fusion...

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