'SCENE' - A temporary retail installation in the bare bones of the Lobby, the redesign of a modernist icon in the heart of Rotterdam.
A TRANSIENT RETAIL SPACE RESEMBLING THE PROPORTIONS OF A COLOSSAL CHOCOLATEBAR IN CARAMEL
FRANCON's latest venture unfolds within the awe-inspiring, architectural masterpiece the Lobby on Kruiskade in Rotterdam. As a part of the ongoing urban regeneration of the surrounding area, the modernist redesign of the building pays homage to Rotterdam’s Reconstruction era and the work of Hugh Maaskant. The grandeur of natural stone and expansive windows create an ideal canvas for high-end retail concepts and restaurants, offering an unparalleled aesthetic experience from 2024 onward. The current shell state of the Lobby is characterized by its raw concrete walls and floors, providing the perfect unfinished backdrop to accentuate ‘Scene’ - the retail installation itself.
A symphony of caramel color, ‘Scene’ evokes the spirit of a theatrical set, carefully designed to seamlessly merge with its architectural surroundings. The temporary installation, resembling the proportions of a colossal chocolate bar, occupies the expansive ground-floor space at the Lobby’. The decor and modular elements were designed to offer an intimate retail experience while remaining adaptable for future use.
QUALITY BEYOND TEMPORALITY AND SPACE, DETACHED FROM FASHION INDUSTRY TIMELINES
FRANCON's ‘Scene’ retail installation stands as a testament to the brand’s dedication to quality and an unconventional approach to fashion. The team detaches its development process from traditional fashion industry timelines, producing limited-edition pieces that focus on settings rather than seasons. Their designs resonate with distinct occasions and moods. New items are introduced on the team’s schedule, creating a continuous body of work. Production takes place in small family-owned factories and ateliers in Italy, Poland and The Netherlands.
ARTIST COLLABORATIONS: A CAPTIVATING INTERPLAY OF TIME AND PROPORTIONS
The artworks by Saskia Noor van Imhoff encompass sedimentary boulders, shaped over millennia through a slow and enduring process, cast in aluminium. The stones are frozen in time, creating a striking contrast with the interior and accentuating a captivating interplay of time and proportions.
An impressive light installation by artist Arnout Meijer adorns ‘Scene.’ The temporary, site-specific light artwork, ‘Second Sun,’ bathes ‘Scene’ in the deep ,warm glow of the sunset. This dynamic installation mimics the slow but grand transformation of the sky during twilight. In the dark days of December, the light can create an intriguing effect, as the sun seems to set in an unconventional direction. At night, the light engenders a powerful image that varies with each visit to the Lobby.
Photography: Simone Frank & Sebastian van Damme