News - 13 April 2010

Unveiling ZARA installation in Milan

UNStudio’s installation for the Zara flagship Milan store consists of a hollow and accessible cone made from coated aluminum. Functionally, it is a cross between a sculpture, an item of furniture, and a pavilion. Its position is directly behind the entrance of the shop, at a prominent spot in the atrium where many period details of the shop’s previous incarnation as a cinema are preserved. The installation responds to this situation in both shape and materialization. The funnel-shaped opening at the top of the aluminum cone follows the outlines of an original monumental circular chandelier. Both installation and chandelier are carefully positioned at the center of a circular plateau that is semi-enclosed by two sweeping staircases that meet at the top and are framed by curved walls.

On the inside, the concave surfaces of the panels turn into the backrest of the seating elements that are integrated at the bottom of the installation. Because of the centrifugal shape, these four seats are positioned in a loose oval, allowing the temporary occupants to either sit quietly by themselves, taking a moment for rest and reflection, or to communicate with each other in pairs or as a group. The panels of the installation partly veil the occupants from their busy surroundings, while at the same time putting them at the epicenter of the Zara store. In addition to the installation, two smaller pieces of coated aluminum, shaped like curved shards from the same cone, are positioned in the shop windows next to the entrance.