Our lives play out to a backdrop of changing places – no two places are the same; each setting is a story of its own. The fact that fashion exists in seasons and collections is contradictory to the way we live. In a modern context, clothes are a means of expression, both of who we are and where we are going. 

The essence of this does not change four times a year. Rather than thinking in seasons, Francon is based on the notion of changing settings. They inform our intuition on what to wear; it is a dialogue between the visitor and the place. Being in a metropolitan city feels different from being in the countryside. When standing in a skyscraper in New York City, we behave differently than we would in a Florentine palazzo. These nuances in perception and behavior are the key themes in our design explorations.

The Lake House, Tower, Cabin, Palazzo, and the Chalet. Each of these buildings are defined by the lifestyle, behavior and culture of the archetype that lends its name to it. Francon aims to be a collection of permanence that evolves over time. 

the lake house

Existing between realities, the lake house usually comes in the form of a villa set on a private property on a lake. The expansiveness of both the lake and the plains around it contradicts the private spaces of the enclosed garden and the house itself. The tension between two seemingly opposing dichotomies disappears as we stand at the edge of the lake and feel its expansiveness as our own.

It is a place we can call home even though we are guests to nature. A space of discovery and relaxation, both familiar and new. There is a sense of liberal comfort in the lake house, a place free from strict rules and etiquette. It is where friends and family come together, where lively social gatherings interweave with moments of quiet contemplation. The lake house signifies the good life. One dresses accordingly. 

the tower

With invisible boundaries that change our movement, actions and behavior, a tower is a story of thresholds. It is an embodiment of a lifestyle in the city, one address merging countless units. From the streets, the facade is a veil which reveals glimpses of the secrets within. Moving from the street into a skyscraper, our behavior changes from being engaged to being the observer. It is this constant shift that The Tower edition caters to, providing building blocks with which one can layer and adapt to the context with ease. 

the cabin

A cabin is a place where time stands still. Often nestled in the depths of nature, a cabin is down to earth and attempts to be a part of the landscape. Nature’s territory is respected, and a cabin does not claim more ground than necessary. It symbolises humble origins, shown in its bare and honest construction. The material reflects what is locally abundant, free of any non-architectural flourishes, focusing instead on texture and tone. 

A cabin is a place of intentional isolation, far from distraction and the bustle of city life. A cabin is a place to detach, recharge, and observe time. 

the chalet

The chalet is an escape from daily life. Originally used as seasonal farms for dairy cattle in the lowland pastures, the chalet is now closely associated with the tourism industry, referring more to the idea of ski holidays than its original work function.

The architecture of the chalet is discrete as it is more often than not covered with a thick layer of snow. It is more recognizable in the crowds of families and smoke rising from the chimney than it is from its deep eaves and modest construction. The chalet is often embedded into the ground, grounded in the mountain. It provides the opportunity to resign to private quarters as well as a place for communal activities. Ironically, it is less about the activity of winter sports and more about a lifestyle of leisure. The chalet is a chance to be amongst the mountains.

the palazzo

The palazzo is a relic of the past. It is the Italian word for palace, but today can also be used to describe large private houses in the city, especially of aristocracy. The palazzo as an archetype started as a symbol of wealth and power, a private property with public importance. It represents

a time where opulence and grandeur were celebrated without limits, a time of old glamour and wealth. Today, these grand structures have been opened to the public, revealing their inner extravagance to the masses.

These lavishly ornate buildings designed as a residence of power are now used for public entertainment or exhibitions. The palazzo is a portal that transports us to a different moment in time.