Temptation sensation *
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 10/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
A tile serpent defined the Sicis display at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.
Composite marble and glass mosaic tile clad the floor and walls, respectively.
Marco Piva's display incorporated integral sinks and vanitites.
The immersion chamber featured a reflecting pool, stainless-steel floor tile, and a wall clad in glass mosaic tile.
Marble and mosiac tile composed a serpent's eye.
A Mexican craftsman sculpted the tree of life in terra-cotta.
Visitors were invited to relax on chaise longues.
Three sinks lined the corridor.
Only in Milan could one find a tile showroom named Earthly Paradise: Beyond the Mirror. It's there (and with that moniker) that tile manufacturer Sicis made its debut at this year's Salone Internazionale del Mobile. To design the phantasmagorical display, Sicis president Maurizio Placuzzi collaborated with the namesake principal of Studio Marco Piva. Their theme, says Placuzzi, was the "pursuit of well-being through time." In other words, a mosaic Garden of Eden—and an epic departure from traditional product display.
The governing motif was a 100-foot-long serpent set into the undulating tile pattern of the showroom floor. More than 10,000 visitors entered at the serpent's tail, then followed the tile form as it slithered through the 3,000-square-foot space. Along the way, Piva installed three integral sinks and vanities, alluding to springs, and a pair of chaise longues, encouraging contemplation of a nearby Mexican tree of life sculpture in terra-cotta.
At the center of the showroom, the serpentine path terminated at an immersion chamber with a free-form pool set on a floor of Metallismo stainless-steel tile. The pool's water reflected the surrounding walls' iridescent composition of Iridium glass mosaic tile "depicting the changing light of the sky in a day," says Piva.
The Piva-Sicis story doesn't end there, however. The architect is currently working on a 12,000-square-foot flagship showroom in the hub of Milan's shopping zone.