Project Name: Molteni&C｜Dada Showroom
Practice: OUTIN. DESIGN
Firm Location: Alexandria
Completion year: 2021
Gross Built up Area: 570 sqm
Project Location: Ningbo
Design Team: OUTIN - R.E.C Team
Others: Chief designer: Wang Chen, Props production: OUTIN - R.E.C Team, Lighting design: OUTIN - R.E.C Team, Yunxi Lighting Co., Ltd., Display design: Sìbān
Photo Credits: Wen StudioMore Specs
Excerpt: Molteni&C｜Dada Showroom is a retail space designed by the firm Outin Design. The firm dug into the brand’s genes and character, incorporated business ideas into the space, and created a “home” setting focused on emotional experience. “For this showroom, we emphasized emotional experience rather than visual tension. The entire space is about emotions. By bringing in multiple furniture pieces designed by master designers, we created immersive, emotion-evoking home scenes to let customers better perceive the displayed furniture’s application in daily life.” the design team explained.
(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)
Founded in 1934, Molteni&C is a time-honoured brand that represents the history of design furniture in Italy, dedicated to creating superior closets and system furniture products. Based on innovative design ideas, a complete production chain and a persistent pursuit of quality for more than eight decades, Molteni&C has been a leading famous design furniture brand across the globe.
As conceiving the showroom for Molteni&C in Ningbo, design studio OUTIN. DESIGN dug into the brand’s genes and character, incorporated business ideas into the space, and created a “home” setting focused on emotional experience. “For this showroom, we emphasized emotional experience rather than visual tension. The entire space is about emotions. By bringing in multiple furniture pieces designed by master designers, we created immersive, emotion-evoking home scenes to let customers better perceive the displayed furniture’s application in daily life.” the design team explained.
Holistic interior and exterior design
While retaining the original structures of the building, OUTIN DESIGN created a clean, simple and pure facade for Molteni&C | Dada Showroom in Ningbo. The exterior of the exhibition area on 1F presents a strong contrast with the unrenovated road outside. It acts as an interface that blends the showroom into the city.
The interior space is not isolated from the outside but is regarded as the continuation of the urban architecture. Rather than distinguishing clearly between the old and the new or creating a specific meaning of the space. Designers concentrated instead on telling stories, conveying brand values and strengthening consumers’ perceptions of products through creating a series of “home” scenes that evoke emotional responses.
The interior and exterior are unified to vividly interpret the design concept and communicate a simple, calm brand image from the inside out. After inserting blocks into the space, storytelling and emotional space are created.
Space shaped by cabinets
Instead of creating a spatial form full of tension, the designers tended to adopt more moderate structural languages to fit into the brand’s character. The design weakened the commercial atmosphere without breaking away from the showroom’s commercial attribute. The transparent glass allows for clear sight lines, unveiling interior structures distinctly. A relatively complete “home” setting is created by combining cabinets with furniture pieces.
The design team extracted the dynamic straight and oblique cabinets’ surfaces and inserted them into the space to create the spatial order that echoes the brand. The design team created a structural realm that communicates the brand’s genes by deconstructing and combining cabinet blocks.
The project presents a complete series of home scenes by building a connection between products and space. It breaks the stereotype of “doors” and forms various separate yet connected areas, making products the connectors in the overall space. Products interact with the space, alleviating the sense of boundary and creating a classic distinct yet continuous aesthetic. The walk-in closet acts as an independent micro spatial realm and a flexible, interactive “transit station”. It’s like a surprising, mysterious “blind box”, which opens up an unknown field and invites customers to perceive the charm of Molteni&C in the space. The design needs to respond to the brand’s context and accurately convey emotions.
The spatial design is not merely about product display but more about creating a living atmosphere through various furniture products to evoke customers’ emotional resonance. The gentle material textures weaken the reflection of light, and the soft spatial tones offer a warm visual experience. Natural light is filtered in and softened by the frosted glass, enhancing the living atmosphere of the space.
Peaceful pale hues and dark colours compliment each other under the light, creating shadows and fluidity in the space. It took meticulous consideration of the colour palette, light, material textures, and details to create a simple, pure. Yet, the home-like atmosphere in the showroom stimulates infinite sensory and emotional experiences.
The restrained space forms a spiritual field filled with a sense of extension, where displayed products and space dialogue with each other. The way that a brand communicates itself doesn’t necessarily have to be high-profile. Perhaps a storytelling narrative may help better interpret and convey the core values of the time-honoured brand. Starting from the character and history of Molteni&C, the design team conceived both the interior and exterior of the showroom, which evokes customers’ emotional resonance with the brand.