The restyling of the Valextra boutique in the heart of Milan is inspired by two core elements: space and the objects within.
“When I first entered the store, I found its interiors extremely fascinating for their structure made of columns and
beams, which were hidden in the previous concept”, says Bernard Dubois. The architect’s intervention aims at making
space express itself spontaneously, at voicing its geometric structure and imposing beauty, and bringing the system of
columns and beams to the centre of attention. Leaving the frame untouched, Dubois plays instead with perspective,
amplifying its depth through mirrors placed on the side and back walls of the store.
Monumental, clean and freedom to breathe are the key words of this significant remake, where the essential structure
is divided into three main sections, each one comprised of distinctive, intimate rooms. To further exalt the space’s
generous dimensions and architecture, Dubois covers the floor with beige fitted carpet and upholsters the walls with
differently coloured textures: aquamarine green at the entrance, vibrant yellow in the middle, and pink in the last part.
He then creates five special furniture pieces, scattered throughout the rooms, made of grey concrete bricks: these
unique geometric shapes, reminiscent of the works of Carl André, Sol Lewitt or Per Kirkeby, seem to be influenced by
a minimalist and sculptural architecture, but in fact they unveil an ambiguous twist as their edges are scratched and
broken like that of an antique ruin, referencing projects of James Wines in the seventies.
The blend between the gentle touch of the hued fabric-walls and the bold, solid contours of the unfinished furnishing
elements creates a strong, deliberate contrast. A subtle balance of soft and rigid accents that somehow recalls the union
between the supple, soft-grained leathers crafted by Valextra and the rigorous, architectural design of its signature shapes.