Molteni&C in New York City
The new flagship for Italian furniture powerhouse Molteni&C on Madison Avenue is like a modernist palate cleanser. Designed by celebrated architect Vincent Van Duysen, who serves as the brand’s creative director, the two-story showroom is laid out like a chic urbane dwelling. All of the group’s offerings–including Molteni&C’s collections, Dada’s kitchens and UniFor’s office furnishings are under one roof. We speak with Giulia Molteni, head of marketing and communications for the brand, for the details.
Tell us about the showroom. It’s the first Molteni Group flagship store to combine the brands, and now the biggest store we have, at 14,000 square feet. The concept was to present the showroom as the house of an art collector who is a well-traveled lover of design–and, of course, do that with characteristic Italian flair.
What inspired the design? We looked to Milan’s Villa Necchi Campiglio, an iconic example of Rationalist architecture, then interpreted that kind of elegant Italian design through the lens of our creative director, Vincent Van Duysen, who is a Belgian minimalist. The space feels Italian but with a slightly outsider perspective.
How did you achieve the look? We incorporated high ceilings and used different woods and materials to warm up the space. The centerpiece is the amazing walnut-clad travertine staircase designed by Vincent. It’s magnificent and architectural but also warm and welcoming.
There’s art throughout the space. How were the pieces selected? We asked the renowned curator and talent scout Caroline Corbetta–who does the Expo in Milan–to curate a display. The chosen pieces are by artists born in the 1970s and ’80s: Stephen Felton, Jacopo Miliani, Alek O., Santo Tolone and Bedwyr Williams. We showcased the artwork together with furniture by great designers such as Jean Nouvel and Gio Ponti. You can purchase the art, just as you can buy the furniture, accessories or bedding.
Why bring these three brands together in this store? Now more than ever, there’s synergy between the three companies. In today’s world, everything is linked together: kitchen, office, home furniture. Between open plans and home offices, environments are more fluid. It was also a way to underscore that we are a company with a rich design heritage–my grandfather, Angelo, was a founder of Salone del Mobile. We want to show that we are one big company, and that the brands really do complement each other.