Fornarina, Rio de Janeiro

ISP/VM+SD Store Design Competition Winner
Posted January 29, 2007

The new Fornarina store in Rio de Janeiro’s open-air Sao Conrado Fashion Mall is a version of the concept, by Giorgio Borruso Design (Marina del Rey, Calif.), that won the ISP/VM+SD Store of the Year award in 2004, with its organic shapes and tactile materials. The Rio space won a first place in the Specialty Store, Sales Area Under 1500 Square Feet category, in the 2006 competition.

The concept for that 1450-square-foot space begins at the storefront, framed with a sleek stainless steel ribbon that morphs into a door handle to open the second of eight panels of the glass facade. A wall of eyes, visible through the façade, is set at exactly the proper angle to capture the attention of the main pedestrian traffic flow.

The Fornarina signature-styled apparel hangs from two freestanding mirrored displays, one in black the other in white. Two cascades of silver-coated fiberglass rings drop from the ceiling, suspended by cables.

Over the cash registers, the ceiling drops, resembling the belly of a whale projecting toward and intersecting with a mirror. Mirrors also push out from one of the walls to break the continuity of the product displays. Mirroring complements the convex curvature of the ceiling.

A large and inviting white hill in the center of the store, and visible from outside, draws shoppers to use it as a seating area.

Hundreds of translucent, inflated, polyethylene units are loosely connected by cables to form semi-solid polyform structures that become the dressing room walls. Inside, customers’ silhouettes are fragmented in a kaleidoscope manner.

Client: Fornarina, Civitanova Marche, Italy

Design: Giorgio Borruso Design, Marina del Rey, Calif. – Giorgio Borruso, principal designer; Elizabeth Chang, project coordinator

General Contractor: Sauro + Kerima, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Photography: Courtesy of Giorgio Borruso Design, Marina del Rey, Calif.