Foundation /

Headquarters

Sunlight streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows: this may be what strikes us most upon entering the headquarters of the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation located at the “Tortona 37” complex in the heart of Milan’s new fashion and design district. foto

The 600-sqm split-level office features a ground floor plus two ample intermediate ones where all in all a primarily rational use of space meets a distinct sense of elegance and refinement. Centering on the idea of multifunctionality, the headquarters are divided in work and archive areas, as well as in conference and lecture rooms able to accommodate the exhibition of clothes and accessories. foto

There are also workstations where the general public may access (both hands-on and by computer) the Foundation’s remarkable patrimony of drawings, photographs, videos, texts – complete with vast library containing decades of major fashion, design and lifestyle magazines from around the globe.

The configuration and aesthetic definition of the headquarters award the Foundation a genuine Ferré feel. This comes through in various aspects, from the clean and clearly architectonic volumes, impressively high ceilings, all the way to the specific chromatic attributes: floors made from matte black resin, white walls offset by lacquer red parts, surfaces lined with sheet iron. As for the actual furnishings, they include large bookcases in white lacquered wood framed by durmast oak support elements, plus tables and capacious chests of drawers in bronzetone metal with black frosted glass top. foto

The interior décor is the work of Architect Franco Raggi, university classmate and close friend of Gianfranco Ferré. He is the same architect who cooperated with Ferré in designing other of the fashion maestro’s offices, the headquarters on Via Pontaccio in particular.

Many other things infuse the place with the Gianfranco Ferré style and above all with the designer’s rich and complex personality. First and foremost, the pieces he designed himself: the big sheet iron table from his private office, the chaise longue in brown ponyskin, the Biedermeier armchairs with lacquered lizard upholstery…

Reminders of Gianfranco Ferré are everywhere at the Foundation. There are the creations from his many collections, the souvenirs from his global travels, the gifts from friends and assistants well aware of his love of collecting. Examples? The magnificent Chinese brazier-vase in embossed bronze; the Japanese Kendo armor set; a curious nautical meter stick; Grégory Morizeau’s and Fabius Tita’s singular bird figures in recycled industrial materials; the easel with Ferré ever since his early days on Via Conservatorio. Not to mention all the minor/major objects studding and making special the designer’s diverse work and home surroundings: hats and helmets from all periods of history and corners of the globe, bracelets (some authentic pieces of sculpture), works of art by personal friends and artists (among others, the pinewood “profile” by Ceroli). And then contemporary design items such as the chairs by Tom Dixon, by Ron Arad and by Urano Palma, or Franco Raggi’s own signature “Metamorfosi 3” chaise longue. foto

“Tortona 37” – where the Ferré Foundation headquarters are located – is a mixed-use architectural complex designed by Matteo Thun. It consists of five buildings arranged around a garden-courtyard with trees in the center. The project is part of a major low-environmental impact urban revitalization process featuring the use of energy-saving technologies (geothermal air conditioning, radiant panel heating) and the accurate definition of the exterior walls.

Interior design: Franco Raggi, with the collaboration of Karim Contarino

Lighting: XAL, Xenon Architectural Lighting

Systems furniture: ZEUS

Treated metal surfaces: AMIMETAL

Wood structures: G. BIENATI

Link to explore the space:

Entrace Dress Selection Advertising archive

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