Open exchange

With the Laufen space in Milan, Laufen has created a multifaceted venue that seeks to encourage dialogue between art, design, and architecture.
by Alexander Russ | 10/8/2021

From Vienna to Moscow, from Berlin to Madrid and Miami – every Laufen space has its own identity. This is reflected, among other things, in a strong link to the respective location. The Laufen space in Berlin, for example, which was designed by Konstantin Grcic and opened last year in the district of Charlottenburg, is reminiscent of an art gallery: a large, open venue for exhibitions and installations with an enormous LED wall visible from the street that offers an interactive window on the world and the Laufen collections. A recent addition is now Milan, where the new Laufen space is located centrally in Via Manzoni in the immediate vicinity of the Quadrilatero della moda and the Brera district. There, Matteo Fiorini and Studio LYS have created a fluid, flexible space that serves as a platform for a dialogue between art, architecture, and fashion. Accordingly, Laufen views the new premises as a place for interaction that changes continuously over the course of time through interventions by artists, designers and architects, or through product presentations and events. "We're moving away from prestige, we're moving towards dialogue," says Roger Furrer, Marketing Director of Laufen, explaining the concept.

The proximity to the Teatro della Scala inspired the interior designers to develop a load-bearing system made of aluminum profiles suspended from the ceiling, which makes different spatial configurations possible similarly to a pulley system in theaters. With the help of the Perspex panels attached to it, the space can be divided into different zones. They immerse the Laufen space in an interplay of transparency and light reflections and merge visually with the products on display. At the same time, their flexibility means they are also suitable for events with architects, artists, and designers, as well as for different exhibition formats. Physical or digital elements can be combined here through use of the load-bearing system, for example for video installations. The project is conceived as a superimposition of interwoven layers to demonstrate the complexity and thematic diversity of Laufen. Hence, Matteo Fiorini and Studio LYS designed an expressive structure for the ceiling intended to evoke associations with Switzerland and its mountains and waterfalls. Twelve-meter-long, polygon-shaped panels overlap here to form an expansive landscape, the tectonics of which are further emphasized through the use of artificial light.

To mark Milan Design Week, an exhibition was staged that offered initial insights into the Laufen space. For the occasion, Matteo Fiorini and Studio LYS designed the temporary installation "Am I open-minded?" in which various products from the "Kartell by Laufen" collection were distributed around the interior like sculptures. Embedded in the Laufen space, visitors could immerse themselves in multifaceted scenarios and experience the overlapping of the individual bathroom objects with the mirroring and light reflections of the exhibition architecture. Supplementing this were images by Belgian fashion photographer Hugo Comte from the current "Kartell by Laufen" campaign, in which young models playfully appropriate the collection and which played as a video, further enlivening the space. In this way, the question "Am I open-minded?" exemplifies the attitude behind the Laufen spaces, as Roger Furrer explains: "We want to highlight the brand experience as a seamless and holistic concept which is creating a network of all our spaces around the world, as well as a space for research, interpretation and questioning of existing solutions and concepts."


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by Laufen

DescriptionExternal Link
Compact catalogue 2020/21
General Catalogue UK 2019/20
Technical Catalogue