Walter Knoll Showroom – Milan

  • Client Walter Knoll,
  • Year 2022
  • Location Milan, Italy,
  • Industry Furniture,
  • Ippolito Fleitz Group designed the Walter Knoll showroom, curating space to showcase the brand depth in Milan, Italy.

    Trade fairs are finally back and Milan is back too! We’ve been designing trade fair presentations for furniture manufacturer Walter Knoll for the last ten years – and at this year’s Milan we present a poetic brand space. We’re not showing at the Salone del Mobile exhibition grounds this year, but in a special building in the heart of Milan: In the narrow alleys of the Brera design district stands the Rimessa dei Fiori, a former flower warehouse, which we have literally let blossom again with a temporary brand staging. The result is a multi-layered, artistic brand space for remarkable moments and inspiring encounters.

    The floor and walls retain the original, lived-in concrete with visible and tangible traces of former use – even the words “vietato fumare” are still visible on the wall. The space is peeling and flaking, just waiting for yet more layers, for transformation. Our brand space adds layer upon layer. The brand logo and lettering are merely projected onto the walls, because it’s not about adding a fresh coat of paint, but about the subtle poetry of layered structures.

    We underscore the ephemeral effect of the space with dissolved organic grid structures. We employ specially designed, robot-rendered curtains, which we show here in white for the first time, and white, organic, lattice furniture as room dividers to zone the space, creating various abstract spatial contexts for the furniture by Walter Knoll. With its strong physicality and haptic quality, the furniture contrasts vividly with the filigree sheathing and lightness of the spatial installations. A materials table invites visitors to experience some of the fabric, leather and natural stone surfaces at first hand, thus also engaging with the brand on a sensual level.

    We have collaborated with three female artists, who have expanded the space by adding further dimensions and contexts. Janet Echelman is an internationally renowned textile artist. Her work is knotted like fishing nets, emphasising the permeable character of the space. Through a subtle use of light, the impression of a flowing, living fabric is created. The installation is directly visible from the entrance, creating a point of attraction and guiding visitors straight to the new Walter Knoll sofa collection, which is presented as a round ensemble beneath the artwork.

    With Irene Cuzzaniti from Studio Irene, we were able to win a highly talented Milanese florist for our project. Her floral arrangements grow from the room dividers like swathes of moss. Drafts of air cause them to sway gently back and forth, spreading their springlike fragrance through the space. Finally, the styling is complemented by the work of ceramics artist Yvette Hoffmann from Stuttgart with her delicately handcrafted objects.

    We design our temporary projects with a particular focus on sustainability and reusability. The transparent, airy spatial elements save on material, and can be easily separated into wood and metal. Art installations, curtains and styling objects take up little space when packed, and can later be used for subsequent stagings.

    When it’s finally time to leave, the beamer is switched off, the brand logo vanishes and the space regains its former identity. However, Walter Knoll’s staging has undoubtedly left an imprint in the memory of its visitors. Thus, the multi-layered installation also inscribes itself into the space and its history in an imaginative and long-lasting way.

    Design: Ippolito Fleitz Group
    Design Team: Tilla Goldberg, Peter Ippolito, Victoria Scherbarth
    Photography: Philip Kottlorz