Architect Antonio Citterio’s interpretation of the Damiani brand is clearly evident in the company’s store in Milan, as shown on these two pages. The store represents Citterio’s debut project in Italy after designing a string of successful Damiani stores in several other countries. His design will continue to serve as the signature for all Damiani stores during the company’s ambitious expansion. The Italian jewelry designer already has 25 single-brand stores in some of the world’s most exclusive shopping centers, in cities such as Honolulu, Tokyo, Dubai, and Madrid, as well as nearly every major city in Italy.
In the Milan store, Citterio’s design reflects the company’s classic roots through natural materials such as rosewood, which is used for paneling on interior showcase walls and for all counters. He surrounds the dark wood with the lighter look of another natural material—wax-polished Navona travertine—on the walls and floors. The ceiling is made of white plasterboard.
In a nod to Damiani’s innovative style, custom-designed bronze and methacrylate ceiling-mounted light fittings generate direct and indirect light throughout the store. In addition, there are semi-embedded Pyrex acid-finish glass ceiling lights.
Inside out. The Milan store meets many, if not all, of Damiani’s criteria in its expansion plans. First, it’s located on the corner of Via Montenapoleone and Via Sant’ Andrea, the center of one of the world’s premier shopping districts. Second is its size—the store occupies a two-story, 2,000-sq.-ft. space. One of the store’s most important benefits is its 130 ft. of exterior windows. Eight display cases on Via Montenapoleone, nine cases on Via Sant’ Andrea, and five cases in a “Gallery” that can be seen from the outside provide ample opportunity for Damiani to tempt pedestrians with its latest designs.
Inside, there’s enough room for seven display cases, two display counters, and four wall cabinets. The design and location of the cases and wall displays (inside and along the exterior) bring the architectural concept together and allow the jewelry and watches to shine. Citterio paid particular attention to the look and lighting of the cases. For nearly all of the display cases, he used custom-designed down lights and covered the top part of each display case with white lampshade fabric. Fluorescent strip lights are set into the wooden paneling and built into the building’s façade, along with laminated translucent backlighting for window displays. Laminated glass and rosewood shelving with crystal display cases are used for the corner display, and the sliding entrance door is made with a bronze frame and laminated glass.
With the architectural design in place, Damiani is now focusing on continuing its expansion plans. Its goal is a simple one: to have branded stores in the world’s most “in” locations.