Foster + Partners turns home of artist Filippo Marignoli in Rome into Apple store

London-based Foster + Partners restores historic Palazzo Marignoli as it transforms the 17th century structure's artistic assets into a stunning retail destination for Apple.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Jun 01, 2021

In close collaboration with the design teams at Apple, British firm Foster + Partners has revitalised the historic Palazzo Marignoli in Rome into Apple Via del Corso – the 17th store of the company to have opened in Italy and one of its most significant restoration projects till date. Located in Via del Corso - one of Rome’s most vibrant streets - the project brings to life the 1873-built home of artist Filippo Marignoli, designed by Italian architect Salvatore Bianchi.

  • Originally constructed in 1873, Palazzo Marignoli was the home of Marquis Filippo Marignoli and housed Caffè Aragno, one of Rome’s most notable gathering places in its day that was frequented by artists, writers, and actors | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    Originally constructed in 1873, Palazzo Marignoli was the home of Marquis Filippo Marignoli and housed Caffè Aragno, one of Rome’s most notable gathering places in its day that was frequented by artists, writers, and actors Image: © Apple
  • The teams were able to revive and integrate Fabio Cipolla’s “Dawn” and Ettore Ballerini’s “Dusk,” two large ceiling paintings that date back to the early 1900s | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    The teams were able to revive and integrate Fabio Cipolla’s “Dawn” and Ettore Ballerini’s “Dusk,” two large ceiling paintings that date back to the early 1900s Image: © Apple

Revealing the building’s multi-layered history through a new lens, new interventions have been done to the façade, interiors, courtyard, and artistic remnants that were hidden for decades. “The joy of the project was to peel back and rediscover the layers of history throughout the building and revealing its eclectic past, which ranges from the historic painted ceilings and the frescoes by Fabio Cipolla, both from the 1890s, to the more recent graffiti artworks by Afro Basaldella,” says Stefan Behling, head of the studio.

Interiors of the store merging the old with the new | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
Interiors of the store merging the old with the new Image: © Apple

Bianchi-built palazzo received a second addition in the 19th century in the form of a monumental facade conceived by Italian architect called Giulio Podesti. The building once housed the famous Caffè Aragno, and was frequented by writers, journalists, and political figures. A melting pot of creativity, the structure has been home to many notable artworks including two large ceiling paintings called the Dawn by Fabio Cipolla, and Dusk by Ettore Ballerini, and multiple graffiti panels depicting urban scenes from Italian cities created by the one of Italy’s most important artists, Afro Basaldella.

  • Apple Via del Corso centers around a lush courtyard brimming with native Camphora trees — the green heart of the palazzo | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    Apple Via del Corso centers around a lush courtyard brimming with native Camphora trees — the green heart of the palazzo Image: © Apple
  • Once inside, visitors will find original detailing of locally sourced Carrara marble | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    Once inside, visitors will find original detailing of locally sourced Carrara marble Image: © Apple
  • The monumental staircase dating back to 1888 | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
    The monumental staircase dating back to 1888 Image: © Apple

The entrance to the store is through a historic colonnaded passage that opens onto a green courtyard, offering respite from the busy shopping street. It creates a calm focus for the entire building, visible from almost every corner of the store. The Camphora trees with their soft canopies offer dappled shade, creating a welcoming atmosphere for visitors, and leafy vistas up to the lush courtyard garden. The passage extending further into the store, which culminates into a monumental staircase, is decorated by arches and vaults while its walls and flooring are lined with Carrara stone – an intervention by the architects to match the existing marble surfaces.

Large glass windows face Via del Corso, allowing natural light to stream into the interior | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
Large glass windows face Via del Corso, allowing natural light to stream into the interior Image: © Apple

Lighting interventions within the interiors have been kept minimal and these have been designed to accentuate the historic features of the building. “The original skylight which was built over during a previous refurbishment has been restored to flood the space with artificial light that matches the tone of natural daylight,” says the London-based Foster + Partners.

Large glass windows face Via del Corso, allowing natural light to stream into the interior | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
Large glass windows face Via del Corso, allowing natural light to stream into the interior Image: © Apple

The monumental staircase, built originally by Marignoli to access his residence on the first floor, leads you to the piano nobile, meticulously restored with its original Carrara marble detailing. The original skylight - built over during a previous refurbishment - has been restored to flood the space with artificial light that matches the tone of natural daylight. The first floor houses the Apple Forum within the vaulted former ballroom. The Apple Forum is the focus for Today at Apple that features workshops and events.

The various rooms within the building are connected by a gallery space that opens up onto a terrace. Taking its inspiration from the ancient Roman roof terraces, the space is populated by fragrant jasmine vines and olive trees that look down onto the green courtyard below.

The design has peeled back and rediscovered the layers of history | Apple Via del Corso | Foster + Partners | STIRworld
The design has peeled back and rediscovered the layers of history Image: © Apple

Sharing the idea of the project, the studio notes, “Apple Via del Corso is a celebration of the past and future and delicately articulates the different eras of history, creating a harmonious juxtaposition of old and new, and takes this building with so much history into its next phase of life".

Comments

Comments Added Successfully!

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
2258,2297,2142,2308,2281

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

Collaborate with us

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE