In the heart of Venice beside the Rialto Bridge, we have redesigned and transformed the interior of the C16th Fondaco dei Tedeschi into a luxurious department store for global retailers DFS, in close collaboration with the soprintendenza of Venice (equivalent to Heritage England). Our work sits within the architectural restoration of this historic landmark which has been carried out by OMA.
This major new store, which is 9,000m sq over 5 floors, opened to the public in October 2016.
Our vision was to create a wonderful journey through the building, with each level bringing new images and materials, responding to its historic context, its product range and Venice itself, creating a constant dialogue between old and new.
We wanted to create a playful and exploratory department store with variation and surprise on all levels while also creating an elegant and luxurious interior by using materials such as marble and bronze.
The most striking design feature in Women’s Shoes is the set of marble tables, carved to appear like draped fabric, the tables were carefully propped in situ, styled and scanned three-dimensionally. The scans were used to carve the marble using advanced 3D carving technology.
Part of the design challenge was to configure services in a listed building with an existing timber beamed ceiling. Since they couldn’t be hidden, instead the services became a design feature. Ducts and lighting tracks were configured to provide air handling and lighting to the retail spaces, as well as suggesting direction and flow in the space.