Demountable electric-blue grid engulfs On-Off store interior in Milan

Italian architect Francesca Perani has teamed up with design studio Bloomscape to create a reversible fit-out for this clothing store in Milan, which is dominated by a flexible gridded shelving system.

Perani and Bloomscape installed the grid with its moveable shelves as a way to let the On-Off store effortlessly change its display arrangements.

Shelving system in Milan store by Francesca Perani and Bloomscape
A gridded blue framework covers the entire interior of Milan’s On-Off store

It was also a matter of making the store reversible, meaning that the fit-out could be easily dismantled should the retailer move on to a different site, saving waste and leaving behind a clean slate for the next occupier.

“Too often, the world of retail is still insensitive to sustainability; its lifecycle, however, is too short to continue being ignored,” explained Bloomscape co-founder Rosario Distaso.

Polycarbonate walls in ON-OFF store in Milan
Concrete chimney blocks form display plinths and benches

The gridded framework comprises beams of poplar wood surrounded by metal frames that were anodised to produce a vivid electric-blue colour.

The system runs along the walls and across the store’s ceiling, allowing On-Off to hang wayfinding signage.

Wood and metal shelving in Milan store by Francesca Perani and Bloomscape
Shelves can be moved around in the framework to create different displays

All of the shelves can be pulled out or slotted in at different points of the framework.

A fixed wooden clothes rail runs between two of the columns, allowing the hung garments to appear almost as part of the store’s architecture.

As the team was working with a limited budget, just a handful of materials were applied throughout the rest of On-Off.

The same metal-clad poplar wood was used to create freestanding clothing rails that appear at the edges of the store. Sheets of poplar also form the top of the store’s display plinths and bench seats, which have chimney cement blocks for a base.

Mirrored cash register in ON-OFF store in Milan
Mirrored panels clad the store’s cash register desk

At the rear of the floor plan is a mirror-clad cash register, set against a wall lined with translucent polycarbonate sheets.

More panels of polycarbonate were used to enclose On-Off’s changing rooms, with a shiny silver curtain suspended in front of each cubicle for privacy.

Polycarbonate changing rooms in Milan shop by Francesca Perani and Bloomscape
Polycarbonate walls and silver curtains feature in the changing rooms

Other striking retail spaces in Milan include the Marni flagship with its very own artists’ studio and IoNoi – a hybrid store and gallery dedicated to the work of Italian designer Fabio Novembre.

The photography is courtesy of Francesca Perani.

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