Located on the main piazza in front of the landmark Castello Sforzesco, the Jil Sander worldwide showroom and fashion atelier occupies the 5th floor of a restructured 19th-century palazzo and theater. The Milan headquarters houses design production facilities, offices, showroom and sales spaces, as well as a large flexible theater space for the collection and press show events.
A ground floor lobby space provides entry from the piazza and leads to a three story vertical light atrium in which a grand stair ascends to the main showroom reception area. The stair structure is clad in nickel silver metal with honed Vinaixia Spanish limestone treads and optical white glass guardrails. The restructuring of a 1950’s cinema conversion created the main showroom space. Its wide, open expanse is first experienced from a promenade of long, continuous limestone steps flowing down into the main theater and show space. This passage along a facade of grand arched windows focuses and expands the view to the piazza below while functionally linking the adjacent showrooms, atelier, and office spaces on the upper level. Above the ceiling of the main showroom space are two-meter-deep structural beams from the original theater roof. Continuous ambient light frames carved into the space between these beams provide an illuminated ceiling plane which creates veils of light onto the mutable stage surface for the collection below. These deep rhythmic frames also allow for the hidden distribution of air and sound.
Photography by Paul Warchol.