The new Ceramiche Ragno showroom in Milan, a project by Benedetta Tagliabue – EMBT
Ceramiche Ragno, a historical brand in the Italian ceramic industry, opened its first showroom and flagship store in Milan, designed by Benedetta Tagliabue – EMBT. The choice of the area is in perfect harmony with the company’s history and philosophy. Ceramiche Ragno, in fact, is among the leading historic players in the development and success of the Italian ceramic industry worldwide in the postwar period. In the late 1950s, Ceramiche Ragno developed one of the first eco-sustainable ceramic products in the industrial history of ceramics, recycling green glass bottle scraps to create a new glaze. That ceramic was chosen for the 1960 Olympic Village in Rome, thus establishing the company as a major player in the construction industry.
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The 400-square-meter space overlooks Via Marco Polo, in the new Porta Nuova district, with large arched windows. A long sequence of arches defines the rooms, flanked by large side spaces overlooking an internal courtyard; from here, natural light floods in. The ceramic and stoneware collections are not just materials on display, but also elements that contribute to the finishes and furnishings.
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Ceramiche Ragno showroom: a spider’s web of decors
The lightweight, extraordinary dimensions of the large, thin-glazed stoneware tiles stand out next to the small ceramics of the Storie collection. The small tiles, which decorate the large shop windows, are hooked to a system of tie-rods typical of sailboats, which mimic the geometry of a spider’s web. The spider’s web theme is recurring because, as Benedetta Tagliabue explained, “we wanted to play with the theme of the spider and the spider web to rediscover the Ragno brand, which becomes a common thread between past, present, and future.” (Ragno in Italian means Spider)
The continuous floor mosaic dialogues with the collections hanging from the wooden structures, to suggest further combinations of the various materials in the different rooms, thus accompanying visitors on an evocative journey. The polychrome mosaic theme also characterizes the walls of the rooms facing the inner courtyard and the bathrooms; like the large kitchen, these rooms use large slabs from the Incanto marble-effect stoneware collection. An unexpected homage to Giorgio De Chirico, made with the small and colorful tiles from the Storie collection, reinterprets one of the metaphysical paintings from the anthology “Le piazze d’Italia.” The new showroom will thus be a new landmark for the design and architecture community.