Illy Café

The extensive use of cubes reflects the shape of Illy’s logo.

Interdisciplinary architect Caterina Tiazzoldi’s design for Milan’s temporary Illy Café is a maze of modulations.

Located in Galleria San Carlo, near Milan’s revered cathedral, the Illy Café employs 200 white cubes in various scales; the sizes correspond to the products on display. Some of the modules become tasting tables and counters, while others serve as storage or frame video screens.

Using Grasshopper software, it became possible to manipulate the physical properties of a standard 45-x-45-cm cube by editing the depth, thickness, opacity, length and so on. The logic – inspired by the genetic algorithms process – allows over 3000 configurations of the same object.

The system is modular and can therefore be adapted to different locations.

Photos courtesy Luca Campigotto.

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