Retail environments from Marsotto, Novacolor and Anour prove that sector typologies continue to be inspired by the art gallery format.

Retail has taken more than a few cues from the art gallery typology. Some of the most impressive store environments that we’ve reported on in recent years are framed not as the single-brand or multi-brand shops that they are, but instead as exhibition-style gathering places. And for many, that shift has paid off in increased foot traffic and longer browsing time. Even while these spaces will undoubtedly need to see modifications in order to accommodate COVID-19 health and safety regulations, they continue to make a case for a more organic means of shopping and brand engagement. With this comes as little surprise that other interior formats in the sector are beginning to take note too – namely, the showroom. We share three minimal showroom spaces which lower the volume on overt branding as a means to amplify the consumer experience.

Photos: Hiroki Tagma



Marble manufacturer Marsotto tapped Nendo to create a showroom for marble furniture, sundries and samples of processed materials in Milan’s Brera district. The two-level destination has a four-room exhibition space in its basement; while the ground level enables visitors to learn about Marsotto’s marble processing techniques, the expansive basement is designed for people to enjoy the material’s aesthetic and atmospheric properties. Five display stages of varying sizes make it possible for the brand to host multiple exhibition layouts at the bright marble-clad showroom.

Photos: Ouyang Yun


AD Architecture

Transforming a neglected 180-sq-m site situated at the corner of a mall into an alluring showroom, AD Architecture has built a new home in Shantou, China for Italian paint company Novacolor. The designers utilized a material palette of stainless steel, paint, micro-cement, transparent film, and switchable glass to compose the space, which immerses visitors in an applied exhibition of Novacolor’s 200-plus paint textures and colours. Ambient lighting helps play up the spatial experience and sharpen focus on the products’ visual qualities.

Photos: Jeppe Sørensen


Danish lighting company Anour’s showroom comprises straight lines, cracked flooring, desaturated tones and influences from brutalist architecture, all to play up the metal finishes which define its products. The showroom is located in a 300-sq-m warehouse outside of Copenhagen which took two years for the team to renovate – it arranges the pieces in carefully curated displays. ‘My dream was to gather our production, office and showroom under one roof, and enable visitors to get a holistic experience of Anour,’ says founder Arash Nourinejad. ‘A creative space to experiment and test new products and constellations.’