Since graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2011, Sabine Marcelis has accumulated an extensive list of achievements. Working in the fields of object, material and installation design, Marcelis’ focus is on materiality – hands on and highly experimental in her process, she aims to create unexpected experiences.
In 2017, we commissioned Marcelis to design our Showroom in Milan. Located in Palazzo Recalcati, the space is a class example of harmony – perfectly incorporating elements of modern design within a magnificently historic setting.
Established in 1997, Frame is the world's leading media brand for interior design, honing in on innovative and excellent spatial design. Featured in the magazine’s 120th issue is a short story about Marcelis’ work for Salle Privée House No.8. Read it here, below:
SABINE MARCELIS’s first permanent retail interior
sensitively addresses a landmark building
Luxury menswear brand Salle Privée focuses on classic essentials – no seasonal collections but ‘timeless fashion’ – and House No. 8 in Milan is the relative newcomer’s second European showroom. Responding to the question of what permanence looks like, the Dutch fashion house asked Sabine Marcelis to realize the interior of its latest retail venture. No stranger to the label, Marcelis previously translated her signature en vogue resin panels into display units for the Salle Privée Amsterdam flagship.
The Milan showroom – at the historical heart of the city – occupies a space within Palazzo Recalcati, a 16th-century building whose existing interior immediately caught the designer’s attention. ‘It was clear from the beginning that we should enhance the original aesthetics, not detract from them,’ says Marcelis. ‘The core design principle is based on extruding volumes and extracting shapes from those volumes to enrich the space with freestanding walls and display units. Essentially, it’s one big puzzle that could be flat-packed again.’
Featuring circular openings carved from massive blocks of acrylic resin, Marcelis’ elements have seemingly fallen into place, serving as display objects and furniture throughout the retail area. ‘I like the contrast between the resin pieces and the materiality of the existing space,’ she says. ‘Resin has the added benefit of interacting with incoming light, so the volumes don’t feel too solid or obstructive. As is often the case with my work, I tried to push the limits of the material and the production process by curving and assembling these large-scale pieces.’
Pushing the limits also meant experimenting with a new technique for the gradational frosting of large glass sheets that cleverly conceal existing radiators beneath the windows. Marcelis says the solution ‘meant we could hide an unsightly part of the window while still allowing a maximum of natural light to enter through the top half of each pane’.
FRAME Magazine feature written by Alexandra Onderwater. Photography by Delfino Sisto Legnani. Diagram courtesy of Studio Sabine Marcelis
NOTE: For Salone del Mobile 2018, SALLE PRIVÉE HOUSE NO. 8 is open to the public. This is the first time we've opened our showroom's doors for public visits. If you're around, our team will be thrilled to receive you. During Salone del Mobile 2018 in Milan, more of Marcelis’ work will be featured as part of: ‘LIFE IN VOGUE’ at Redazione Vogue Italia, ‘HULA’ at Nilufar Gallery and ‘SEEING GLASS’ at Bar Anne.