A project by Area 17 for FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti
Area-17 renews the Iris Ceramica and FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti showroom for Cersaie 2017, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings in Bologna.
The international architecture and design studio directed a wide-ranging restyling project, starting with definition of a clear, distinctive visual identity that would sum up and represent the particularities of each brand and all the Group’s different idioms. Bold characterisation of the architectural wrapper inspired by a profound rethinking of the social spaces that are the fulcrum of the entire design, offering customers and visitors a comfortable, welcoming environment. The reception area, lounge bar, meeting area, technical area and offices are all contained in a “clubhouse”, a circumscribed but permeable space where various exhibition areas come together.
The adjustable slats defining its perimeter permit flexible management of openings on the visual and functional levels, leading into the spaces radiating outwards from this central core. FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti products are exhibited on the basis of net volume and definition of linear paths accompanying visitors in discovery of the collections.
The simplified reading of space focuses attention on the product itself, displayed in theme areas and full-scale mood boards in the “FMG House”. An architectural promenade around the outer perimeter of the building, a rarefied exhibition underlining the peculiarities of MaxFine products: large sizes, airy volumes and evocative settings are concealed behind sliding panels that display products while at the same time acting as architectural backdrops, on the basis of the logic of clear, effective exhibition characterising the entire project.
The exterior areas of the FMG showroom
The partnership between Area-17 Architecture & Interiors and FMG and Iris Ceramica continues with a realisation that combines the strong character of contemporary design with respect for what the brand represents for its territory and inhabitants.
The project to renovate the historic headquarters of FMG and Iris Ceramica was born of a need to integrate the original 1960s building with the new volumes of the showroom and to renovate interior spaces whose functions had changed over time. It also interprets the desire to consolidate an important company identity and to transmit a new, reinforced image to staff and clients.
The work has been extremely respectful of the facade, using original elements of the building, while remodernising its overall design with the addition of contemporary details. All of the volumes are linked by an important landscaping project that softens the passage from one building to another with a skilful layout of green areas, but, above all, it embraces the whole of the structure with an enclosure that is both transparent and sculptural, expressing all the emotional capacity of ceramic.
With an architectural language that playfully cites the ‘60s, the search for a balance between modernity and tradition continues on the inside, with work centred on the evolution of functions and relationships that are created between the new spaces. The entrance opens into a floor to ceiling atrium that houses a monumental LED wall with visuals related to brand communication. To the left and right of the atrium are the spaces of the company museum, which tell the story of FMG and Iris Ceramica through its products, people, values and designs, in a display with a strong sensory and emotional impact.
The floor to ceiling volume ideally connects the museum to the offices - the past to what is happening today – an architectural connection and transversal narrative synthesis. A space that dynamically combines a waiting area, reception area and brand communication transmits a new way of understanding the relational mechanics of the work space and effectively communicates the complexity and vision of the company to visitors.