Cassina represents not only the future of past, but also the future of future. As conceiving Cassina’s showroom in Ningbo, OUTIN. DESIGN adopted unique deconstruction methods and spatial languages to tell the story of the brand that has never stopped making breakthroughs and evolving over its long history.
Cassina leads the design trend and is the barometer of the global furniture design. The brand boldly explores, experiments and innovates in design and materials and has created many classics. The avant-garde spirit it represents has long guided the progress of global furniture design. Its products not only contributed to the peak times of modern Italian furnishings, but also guided the direction of furniture design in the world.
The worldwide success of Cassina is also inseparable from the blessing of time. How to interpret Cassina’s core values and the power of time posed a big challenge to OUTIN.DESIGN, as the team had to integrate and express the two themes in one architectural space.
By reinterpreting the brand identity and revealing the brand core, the design team intended to offer visitors an in-depth understanding of the brand and a chance to perceive its progress over time. As the space is endowed with profound meaning, the perception and value of the brand are enhanced. The design enables the brand to communicate with visitors and the world in a new way.
Interaction between architecture and outdoors
Throughout the design process, the biggest challenge was the construction of the facade. The initial attempt was to use stainless steel to create a texture close to aluminum, but it turned out unsatisfactory. After multiple tests, the design team finally decided to take aluminum plates as the main materials. As aluminum plate is too soft, it needed polishing before being installed on the wall. The task was demanding but a desirable result was realized at last.
Aluminum plates take on different textures as time goes by. The natural oxidation captures the trace of time, and the uncertainty of nature leaves its beautiful print on the architecture which gradually fits in with nature. The eaves also reflect the respect for nature. With raindrops falling from the eave edges and down onto the steps, visitors are able to listen to the gentle sounds of nature.
The terrace strengthens the interaction between people and brings the city closer to the architecture. The design team transformed the long straight staircase outdoors to create more spots where visitors can stop and have fun. This adds fun to visitors’ exploration, and creates more possibilities for activities and communication here. Besides, the living scenes of surrounding areas are brought into the interior. The terrace connects the inside and the outside, which enables the architecture to embrace the secular life and the nature.
Fusion & deconstruction of past and future
OUTIN. DESIGN integrated the concept of home life into the design of this showroom based on Cassina’s brand temperament. Furniture pieces are set up as small installations that enclose and simulate various home scenes, cozy but classy. Customers are surrounded by the museum-like display when entering the space.
The spiral staircase leads customers upwards. It stimulates their desire to further explore, and encourages them to observe and perceive the design concept from the perspective of time and space. The ceiling was inspired by the Pantheon built in 27 BC in Rome. The fluidity of the modern lines creates a new dimension and visual highlights, linking the past and the future.
The unified color of walls, floor and ceiling creates more possibilities for furnishings arrangement. Bright lines are soaked in warm lighting, which softens the sharpness, adds a hazy ambience and generates a sense of emptiness and broadness in the space.
The spiral staircase surrounded by glass is a combination of fine texture and transparency, which offers pleasing visual experience. It adds variations to the color palette and material textures of the space, generating a balanced atmosphere. Spatial blocks of various forms and curves complement the geometric modern furniture pieces, improving the sense of order and layering of the space. Each part of the space is separated but connected with each other, greatly enriching the design languages.
Inspired by the techniques of “framed scenery” in traditional Chinese garden creation, a round hole is carved out on a wall. Light and scenes in other areas fall down through the hole, adding unique highlights into the space. While light interacting with the environment, it brings an extraordinary sensory experience.
Matter moves and keeps changing along with time. The past and the future are interwoven and integrated in the process of materialization. The values of brand evolve and exceed over time. The creation of the architectural space and the unique design techniques of the project display the Cassina’s past and future in a more profound and clear way. The avant-garde spirit of the brand is perfectly displayed in every detail in the design.
Project name: Cassina Showroom, Ningbo; Location: DERLOOK, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China; Completion time: June 2021; Client: The Life in the Future; Area: 460 square meters; Design firm: OUTIN. DESIGN; Photography: Wen Studio;