Marsotto‘s new Milanese showroom, located in Largo Treves at number 2, tells the story of the history and evolution of the Verona-based company specialising in the transformation of marble over generations in more than one hundred years of activity. The showroom was designed by Japanese studio nendo, whose project stands out for its elegance and aesthetic cleanliness, accompanied by a poetic and ironic language. Inside the showroom there are projects signed by international designers that testify to Marsotto’s research path, between innovative technical processes carried out using numerical control systems and meticulous handcrafted finishes. We talked about this and much more with Francesco Marsotto, Sales Manager of Marsotto.
What activities do you have in place and planned for this 2021?
We had planned an intensive programme of themed exhibitions in our showroom this year, but the limitations due to the pandemic put the organisation of events on hold. Now we can finally resume our activities and start again even more motivated than before. We will start at the end of June with an exhibition dedicated to the Irvine studio, a focus on our fruitful collaboration, starting from the memory of James to the current collaboration with MarialauraRossiello Irvine. The exhibition entitled “Metodo Irvine per Marsotto Edizioni” will be a pleasant tribute to the work carried out under the artistic direction of James Irvine, and the new projects designed by Marialaura will be presented for the occasion. The installation of the new products will be open to the public until the end of August. Then in September we will be present for the big event of the Designer’s Week at the Fuori Salone with a new themed installation. And more.
In the architectural and social field, the theme of living has always been at the centre of the debate. In a historical moment as particular as the one we are living in, full of changes that are happening rapidly, what do you think are the most important ones we are experiencing?
I think the lockdown period affected people’s lives in very different ways, it was a big shock to our way of life, some people felt lonely or bored, others were able to nurture their hobbies even taking up new passions or projects that they couldn’t do before because of the incessant pre-COVID frenzy. In one case or another, people found themselves experiencing the home in a way they probably never had before. This situation inevitably led people to look around, to take care of their living environment, perhaps making changes, reorganising spaces, in order to create a more comfortable and ‘functional’ environment for everyday life. Quarantine has overturned priorities, for example the desire to own a garden for those who could not enjoy their own green space or the need for an (extra) room to be used as a study for smart working. In this perspective, the pandemic has caused an increase in the social divide; many families have found themselves sharing the same spaces simultaneously 24 hours a day, and the few square metres have described the precariousness of a huge segment of the population. It is therefore necessary for the world of design and architecture to question contemporary needs and the theme of living, proposing new solutions to improve everyone’s lives.
The permanent space, in Brera, reflects the company’s history and evokes ancient craftsmanship techniques combined with new technologies. How did studio nendo manage to tell the story in a museum-like way by combining art, design and architecture?
Oki Sato, thanks to his empathy accompanied by his artistic talent, interpreted our requests in the best possible way in the idea of the new showroom. The creation of the façade with its hollow shape, represents from the moment of entry the company’s tradition in the art of sculpture and the skill of our craftsmen in working with marble; a sculpture rendered in a contemporary key by the ironic sign of the seat, an element reminiscent of the Marsotto edizioni collections, characterised by elegance and irony. The large perforated marble walls with grillage at the entrance, the balance of the spaces in a play of perceptions and perspectives highlight the attention to production and stylistic details and represent a harmonious blend of art, design and architecture, sectors to which our company has been passionately dedicated for six generations.
How important is the physical presence in the showroom for you to improve the customer experience? At the same time, how important is the online presence for telling the story of your corporate identity?
The physical presence in the showroom is important to welcome and support the customer by offering a precise and efficient customised service. Face to face interaction undoubtedly favours and facilitates the establishment of human relationships and a relationship of trust between designer and craftsman. This is why we have conceived our space as a meeting place available to architects, planners, designers, art and design enthusiasts who can find and consult samples, materials, profiles and inlays or directly purchase furniture and accessories from the Marsotto edizioni and Marsotto Lab collections. Nowadays it is equally important, indeed fundamental in this historical period, the online presence that allows us to reach potential customers in real time in every part of the world, multiplying the business opportunities. In recent years we have also reflected and invested heavily in communication through social networks that provide us with a borderless connection and a way of interacting immediately with users.
Speaking of physical presence, how important is it for you to be present within a historical context such as Brera?
We have been looking for a long time for a location in the heart of Brera to better meet our international clientele. To be present in this important historical quarter is a source of great pride and responsibility in respecting the style of the most evocative and world-famous design district. For us, it also represents a sort of return to our origins, as the Brera Academy is the place where some members of our family were trained, developing artistic and sculptural skills that have been handed down from generation to generation up to the present day.