Friends for life
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Antonio Citterio and Giorgio Busnelli share a long history. "We've been friends since we were 14-year-olds on Vespas," says Busnelli, who's now president and CEO of B&B Italia. His 30-year professional relationship with Citterio is responsible for much of B&B's look—in terms of both furniture and showrooms designed by Antonio Citterio and Partners. The latest example is a 6,400-square-foot Munich location. Like most of Citterio's projects, it has a simplicity that be- lies the complexity behind.
The site, the ground level of a 1950's building, formerly housed an Internet company. Citterio had to clear the place out to allow for the flexibility he's made a staple of B&B merchandising. Just an enclosed mezzanine stayed, 13 feet shorter and opened up with a balustrade of glass panels coated in a reflective silver. The manager's mezzanine office offers a bird's-eye view of the showroom while serving as a canopy for the Maxalto collection displayed below.
Citterio painted the 17-foot ceiling black and dropped a portion by 4 feet to conceal new air-conditioning. The only other scenery—besides the products—consists of fabric or plastic scrims suspended from tracks. "Leaving the envelope plain makes it easier to change the collections," Citterio explains.
Although previous B&B showrooms have limestone flooring, he opted for 2-by-3-foot porcelain tiles in a similar color here. Maintenance is a snap.