programme: plans and shop renovation management.
team: sophia los
city/area: bassano del grappa (VI), italy
status: completed, 1996
The Focus shop renovation was a big bet. I had recently graduated when the owner – my dear friend Romano Zanon’s father – trustingly put his shop into my hands. Situated in Piazza Libertà in Bassano del Grappa, the establishment was a staple for porcelain and crystalware, known in the whole of Northern Italy and frequented by educated and elegant customers. The challenge was re-using the existing unmatched shelving units and finding a coherent design to layout the products in a new and orderly way. First of all, I moved the entrance to the side, making use of the small portico outside, allowing people to linger by the shop window, and suggested a path among the various types of merchandise inside. Alongside pear and oakwood, I chose three recurrent shades as backdrops to the product layouts, alternating the wood with textiles from the Renata Bonfanti workshop. I singled out a shelving system, separating the structure and the front, allowing me to uniform the furniture, old and new. Many years later, the “Maschera” bookshelf, designed for Morelato, came to life from this initial concept. The lighting placed between the front and back structure by the owner proved an excellent solution. When we completed the works, the owner said to me: “I never understood, Sophia, whether you accepted this difficult job because you are brave or because you are crazy”. After 55 years of activity, the shop moved into new premises managed by Romano in 2011, just a few hundred metres away from the original site.