Benetton's new store in Frankfurt looks to the future in a dialogue with its contemporary surroundings

Ponzano, November 25, 2010. The new Benetton store in Frankfurt has been inaugurated in the heart of the city, inside the ZEILGALERIE shopping centre, a popular international shopping destination, with a new design by Piero Lissoni, where innovation goes hand-in-hand with style and modernity.

Work in Frankfurt began with a revamp of the existing spaces, distributed over three floors, connected by a continuous spiral staircase. The interior volume was reorganised using light, crisp, well-lit spaces, designed to respectfully inhabit the building's contemporary architecture. “I have emphasised the importance of light using big windows as a structuring element to the space, and a palette that focuses on white, a kind of silent surface on which to inscribe the pure volumes of the fittings, which I see as primary modules,” comments architect Piero Lissoni.

The interior decor is entirely designed by Lissoni specifically for this store, with the exception of the Bubble Rock sofa from Living Divani. The furniture is in metal or wood, with closets on castors, tables reflecting nature in their shapes, systems of rails, shelves and hanging racks that recall the large, light and learned bookshelves of the Fifties. A group of elements designed to present a neatly arranged showcase of Benetton apparel and accessories, the true features of this space.

A gradual succession of colours extends through the entire height of the store, alongside the iron sheet staircase, designed by Piero Lissoni with strong lines and transparencies created by cut-out sections. The back painted glass cash desks feature hues associated with dynamic balance in the ancient art of feng shui: orange, green, white and black. A visible, elegant expression of the spirit of this city is the sheet-metal sign hanging behind the cash desk, bearing the white neon words United Colors of Frankfurt.

The use of the sheet-metal box motif extends to the fittings, screens and lighting, with a system of suspended lamps. Large iron and glass boxes, used for window displays, serve to distinguish the different sales themes on each level. The flooring is in neutral-coloured cement-resin throughout, except for the Sisley area, distinguished by an elegant dark grey.

The ground floor houses the Benetton woman collections, the first floor is home to Benetton woman and the 0-12 years collection, and the second floor hosts the man collection and the Sisley Man and Woman area.

The partnership with  Lissoni is part of Opening Soon…, a programmeof investments in the distribution network that seeks to apply new architecture and design ideas to sales outlets in a number of cities that are symbolic of transformation in the world. This international itinerary into style and modernity was launched in Istanbul in 2009, with a flagship store entirely designed by Piero Lissoni. It continued with other stores in significant buildings in major European cities, from London to Paris to Milan, each expressing and interpreting the local culture.