Following on from the much lauded opening of its new lifestyle store in June in Maranello, close to Ferrari’s HQ, Ferrari is now launching its new flagship store in the heart of Milan. Architectural studio Sybarite, who also designed the Maranello store, created the interiors for this flagship, located within a landmark building adjacent to the historic Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Characterised by the new store concept already applied to the first store in Maranello, the Milan store once again weaves together Ferrari’s values of innovation, style and performance to create a Ferrari universe that cleverly combines both the heritage of the brand with a highly contemporary vision.
In keeping with the Maranello store, Sybarite has deliberately employed a specific design language specifying materials, colours and architectural elements, resulting in a visually striking structural and scenographic transformation. From the terracotta so typical of Italian architecture to the sinuous curves and lines of the cars themselves, every element of the store has been carefully thought through by the design studio to reflect the legacy of this world famous company.
The story starts outside the store where the building’s arched windows are punctuated by red glass embodying Ferrari’s symbolic colour with a degrade that fades into transparency to symbolise the performance and speed of the cars.
Entering the store, the eye is immediately drawn to the central core ribbon-like staircase inviting the customer to explore the three floors. The interior walls of the store consist of hand applied terracotta elegantly contrasted by bespoke white clay bricked walls. A dramatic spectacle in the atrium is the suspension of a full-size Formula 1 car, an exact model of the same single-seater in which Michael Schumacher won the World Championship in 2002, which can be seen from all floors and all angles.
For Sybarite it was key that the store be designed to welcome visitors and engage them in a voyage of discovery, with each corner and floor revealing a new perspective and element of the Ferrari story. Each room has been created to tell a specific Ferrari related story from the racing soul of the Cavallino to the new fashion collections created by Rocco Iannone, Creative Director.
The right side of the ground floor accommodates a chequerboard screen on which videos and images flow, commemorating the link between the Scuderia and the world of cinema, with the frequent appearances of Maranello’s four wheels in feature films. Another suspended structure features here; a metal rack in brushed aluminium hangs from the ceiling, inspired by the Ferrari factory carousel machine and underlining the relationship between the factory and the shop floor. The structure has a practical purpose too, as it will display key fashion pieces and lighting that can be seen from all levels. Outside on the street, a 24-hour vending machine selling collectible scale model cars operates on the Via San Raffaele side of the store.
On the opposite side of the ground floor, Sybarite has chosen to illustrate the story of Ferrari’s long involvement in the world of Formula 1. For Sybarite’s co-founder, Simon Mitchell, this area has a particular significance, born of a lifelong passion for the sport.
Says Mitchell, “I first became aware of Ferrari in 1976 when I was five years old, and I watched the F1 on the BBC – I remember seeing the cars line up for the start of the race and I caught a glimpse of Niki Lauda driving a Ferrari 312T. I was hooked. What struck me was that it was a sport where design was the winner. I have followed Ferrari forever as a hobby.. Ferrari is first and foremost design-led – an aspirational embodiment of speed, strategy and beauty. Their ability to continually reinvent is why I wanted to work on this project. As designers we wanted to create a uniquely dynamic and resonating experiential destination with a strong sense of longevity reflecting Ferrari’s own values and story”.
Here there is a display of cult objects dedicated to enthusiasts and fans of sporting competitions, in an evocative atmosphere that calls to mind the tradition of Grand Prix and its participants. A giant screen placed here will project past and present Formula 1 races, surrounded by spoilers, engine parts and memorabilia hanging on the walls.
Continuing downstairs, visitors can participate in a unique e-sport experience in the Retail space, experiencing the same challenges and emotions of Ferrari drivers in virtual reality. Three simulators are set into an amphitheatre-arena dominated by sweeping clay contours, allowing them to undergo the experience of circuit racing at the same speed and with the same intensity as the Formula 1 champions themselves.
On the upper floor, the journey continues through an edited mix of products and bespoke installations. The thematic displays include an illuminated cylindrical column with backlit showcases for eyewear and sunglasses, the children’s area, the wall dedicated to textiles and an area for bags, shoes and accessories. There is also a dedicated area for Rocco Iannone’s capsule fashion collection which made its debut in June this year.
As on the ground floor, there is a dressing room area on the upper floor that tastefully evokes the colours and design of the Maranello cars with walls covered in yellow alcantara. Brushed aluminium doors and stitched and ribbed tan leather seating are inspired by the seats of the Ferrari cars.
Finally, special guests can enjoy a private shopping experience, accessed through a curated VIP lounge area designed with a subtle and rich mix of materials and textures that are an elevated complementary experience to the store concept itself.