This year Rinascente celebrates its 60th anniversary in Rome's Piazza Fiume.
What better occasion to announce the remodeling project for the whole store?
Rinascente confirms its commitment to the local community and to urban improvement with an ambitious project, due for completion in August 2023, involving an investment of more than 37 million euro.
Work is planned on the frontages, the internal architecture, the general brand mix; the project will also include distinctive high-impact architectural elements such as an outdoor elevator, a food hall with a view over the city and a garden area.
“Rinascente consolidates its commitment to Rome with the modernization project for the Piazza Fiume store, which currently provides jobs for 235 people. The guiding principle is to make this historic store, a point of reference for Rome residents for 60 years, into an upgraded visitor attraction, compatibly with the local urban fabric and as part of an architectural enhancement of the area. An important investment in terms of growth and jobs, confirming Rome's appeal as the capital of economic development, and a great indication of a hopeful new start for everyone. I want to thank the company for its engagement with the city: in addition to its role as a business driver and its contributions to the urban décor, Rinascente is also a cultural partner and technical sponsor on a number of exhibitions, such as Romaison, for which it lent us its store windows in Via del Tritone in a perfect union of the past and the future of excellence in fashion,” said Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi.
“We are proud to be able to present this project at such a difficult time,” said Rinascente CEO Pierluigi Cocchini. “Rome has hosted us for 90 years and the desire to invest, to improve ourselves and to improve the city has always guided us. An example is the creation of the flagship store in Via del Tritone, which in just a few years has established itself as a key player in the city center. Now comes the turn of the store in Piazza Fiume. Rome: a city whose eternal beauty is given concrete expression in the splendors of its architecture yet remains an intangible element of its history and its status as a city with a thousand faces over the centuries. The pursuit of beauty has been our focus over the years, as we explain in our Values Charter. With tenacity, energy and respect we endeavor to offer concrete solutions to meet changing needs, in perfect harmony with the fabric of the city.”
Alessandro Busci, Head of Fund Management at Prelios SGR, commented: “We are delighted to consolidate our partnership with the Rinascente Group by helping to maintain the presence of this historic and prestigious Italian brand in the Piazza Fiume building. With the modernization of the Rome location, the Piazza Fiume store will reach Rinascente’s current standards of excellence and once again be an iconic and illustrious asset, a landmark for the capital and its residents, while conserving the key architectural features of the original project by architects Albini and Helg. The operation also enables the Megas Fund managed by Prelios SGR to move ahead with its strategy to enhance and reposition the assets in its portfolio, creating value for the Fund owner – the Enasarco Foundation – and further consolidating the presence of the Prelios Group in value-added development operations, compatibly with the values of sustainability and the principles of the circular economy.”
The Rinascente store in Piazza Fiume is an imposing building between two districts of the capital's Municipality II administrative subdivision – the Pinciano and the Salario – adding luster to the whole area and playing an active social and cultural role.
Piazza Fiume was created in 1921 to improve the city's road system, after the demolition of the Porta Salaria gate; it has a strategic location, close to many points of interest: Via Salaria, Porta Pia, Villa Borghese, Via Veneto, Piazza della Repubblica, Via Nazionale. The area is a harmonious mixture of buildings from the past and examples of modern architecture.
Within this context, Rinascente re-affirms its commitment to the community with the a new restructuring project.
For decades, the Rome Fiume Rinascente, which opened in 1961 and was designed by Franco Albini, one of the masters of Italian Neo-Rationalism, and Franca Helg, the “Grand Dame of architecture”, has been not just one of the best examples of modern architecture, perfectly integrated with the city's historic fabric, but also the only building in Italy created for the specific purpose of housing a large department store. Today, the store welcomes almost 1 million visitors every year.
The whole project has also received the approval of the Franco Albini Foundation. The building is regarded as one of the best examples of the integration of a contemporary building with the historic city landscape and, in order to conserve in full the futuristic spirit with which it was designed in the 1960s, Rinascente was keen to begin a conversation with the Foundation.
In line with the customary Rinascente approach, the remodeling will involve the entire building, from the store windows to the food hall, through all eight floors, while keeping the store open to customers throughout the renovation.
The project will also create new functional elements. One example is the brand new elevator, which travels up and down the frontage overlooking the garden, to connect the surrounding square with the sixth-floor terrace. The work area and the food hall on the sixth floor will undergo a complex functional re-organization, with modifications to the roof looking towards the Aurelian Walls, whose new transparent covering will make it a center for various activities and an important visitor attraction. One of the main goals of the project is to enrich the brand mix on all the floors (including the food hall), by guaranteeing tailor-made visitor services. The ground-floor garden, a distinguishing feature of the original store project, will retain its function, but will be re-organized to house vital new areas such as a small coffee shop immersed in the greenery. Although the pandemic has brought huge changes in its wake, Rinascente has nonetheless decided to make a financial investment of more than 37 million euro: 23 million to be borne by the Megas Fund managed by Prelios SGR, the owner of the building, 9 million by Rinascente and 5 million by the brand partners.
In this way, Rinascente intends to strengthen its commitment to its visitors and customers – and so keep abreast of new requirements – and simultaneously achieve an alignment with the Rome Tritone flagship store, which opened in 2017, in a high-impact location, with a striking assortment and impressive cultural and commercial significance. Through this investment, it aims to remain a reference for local customers but above all for the “district”. The brand mix will be enhanced on all floors, from menswear and womenswear to household goods and food.
Products and services will meet everyday needs, providing delightful solutions for customers. A careful balance will be established to serve the local customer – residents or professionals working in the area – and a younger clientele who will be the mainstay of the future. A democratic positioning, a store combining luxury experiences and an affordable product.
For Rinascente, several key factors will contribute to the success of the project:
People, more than 235 people work in the department store.
Experience, which visitors will be able to enjoy in the store.
Service, with an increasing emphasis on customization. The sales assistants are the front-line ambassadors for the renewal, informed and passionately focused on the needs of the customer.
A new brand mix, with more than 500 Italian and international brands.
THE ROLE OF PRELIOS INTEGRA
Prelios Integra – a company in the Prelios Group and Italy’s leading player in the Property Management sector with more than 8 million square meters of assets under management – is to act as Contract and Project Manager on the project to remodel the entire store in Piazza Fiume. It will also be responsible for safety with the roles required by law including Works Manager, and safety coordinator during both the engineering and the execution phases. “The Piazza Fiume building was designed by two masters of Italian neo-rationalism, Franco Albini and Franca Helg. The brief today is to improve the architectural quality of the existing space and open up new possibilities for its use,” says Mirko Cinque, Head of Project Management at Prelios Integra. “The restructuring, on a total surface area of eleven thousand square meters, is extremely challenging in both technical and organizational terms: this is a central location in Rome with little space available to manage the worksite, while the retail activities of the Rinascente store will continue as usual. Since this means keeping the opening hours for the public and allowing the space to be used in the normal manner, the renovation is planned on the basis of a rigid schedule envisaging a division of the space, the creation of safe routes and recourse to night-time work where necessary.”
Rinascente also continues to invest in collaboration with leading names in Italian and international architecture, as reflected in the opening of the Rome Tritone flagship store and the renewal of the stores in Turin and Florence.
The architects and designers working on the project are tasked with establishing a dialog between the city and the store, for a realization of great artistic and conservation merit, given the building’s historical importance.
True to the modern spirit of the store designers Franco Albini and Franca Helg, the restructuring of the Rinascente in Piazza Fiume has a more than formal tactical value. A number of components of the building will be replaced in order to restore details and spaces envisaged by the original project and adapt it to the new needs of a large contemporary department store.
The windows on Piazza Fiume and Via Salaria will be replaced to return to the original geometric proportions, while the window overlooking the internal courtyard, along the escalators, will be restored. In this way, the escalators will resume their role as a distinctive dramatic feature.
The roofed area by the Aurelian Walls will be modified to display the structural elements, with the installation of glazing so that the sixth-floor restaurant can look out over a little-known view of the city.
The new vertical circulation, incorporating an existing safety stairway juxtaposed with a panoramic elevator, will help to improve internal flows and at the same time enable people to reach the sixth-floor restaurant directly from the courtyard, even when the retail areas are closed. The new volume, which replaces a series of metalwork balconies, is considered a technical addition to the structure of the building envelope, reprising the motifs of the functional elements of the original project.
A balanced combination of restoration and transformation, the 2050+ project is a continuation of the work of Albini and Helg, maintaining and developing a dynamic relationship with the past.
Designed by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli's 2050+ agency, this floor is entirely devoted to food. It is the new destination for the local customer, an area with a strong design content where customers can purchase Italian products of excellence, from wine to the food market.
The restaurant, managed by Enoteca La Torre, will provide a tempting and high-quality culinary offer throughout the day: a quick breakfast, a lunch break, afternoon tea, an aperitif or a relaxing dinner on the restaurant terrace.
The sixth floor will also house the management offices and the Customer Office.
Assigned to architect Paolo Lucchetta, who previously worked with Rinascente on the Rome Tritone and Turin stores, the fifth floor will provide a classic womenswear assortment targeting the store's traditional clientele. There will also be a kids department, with a wide selection of goods, clothing, accessories and toys.
In addition, a beauty corner will provide exclusive personalized experiences organized by the cosmetics brands working on the ground floor.
This floor, assigned to DWA Design Studio, is the first area to undergo remodeling work and is due for completion in June 2021. It will address a sophisticated and timeless woman, one of the traditional strengths of the store.
The interior design is based on contrasts, with a palette dominated by three colors: brick red, creating the atmosphere, mint green to soften the lines, and ivory for the furnishings. To maintain the balance of the contrasts between form and color, tables and props in recycled resin provide a unifying element with a cement and granite effect.
The style of the elegant versatile woman is ideally reflected in the offers of the brands in the assortment, such as Peserico, Max Mara Weekend, Polo Ralph Lauren, Marella and new entries like Reiss and Gerard Darel. The womenswear selection is completed with a lingerie department, with brands including Chantelle and the luxury Paladini range, and a seasonal area focusing on beachwear/resort for the summer months. The fourth floor will alternate corners and multibrand areas, with a constantly changing selection of tempting goods.
This floor has been assigned to the Studio Wok agency of Marcello Bondavalli, Nicola Brenna and Carlo Alberto Tagliabue.
It will be the perfect destination for younger customers interested in new trends, with a contemporary fashion offer covering both ready-to-wear and footwear, the key focus on the floor. Footwear lovers will be spoiled for choice, with fashion brands, luxury names, as well as the ever-present sneakers with an availability of “fashion-collabs” as well as “performance” names.
The contemporary ready-to-wear selection will include a host of new products for the fashion-conscious customer.
The floor will also feature a denim & activewear range, including brands such as 7Fam, Paige, Frame, Levi’s, and a beauty bar with a personal grooming services area and a multi-brand space for on-trend beauty products.
The second floor will also be designed by Paolo Lucchetta. This will be the menswear department with a classic offer, which is already a cornerstone of the current store, bolstered by the introduction of an upper-casual offer. The floor will also feature an accessories area.
Designed, like the fourth floor, by DWA Milano, the first floor will provide contemporary and fashion menswear, with an attractive new brand mix. The shoes & sneakers area will be the main focus on this floor, with the addition of a wide range of brands for the fashion-conscious young man. The floor will also include a denim bar, an activewear department and a men's underwear department.
The ground floor, the store's business card for the loyal local customer, will be characterized by the distinctive style of Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli's studio 2050+ agency.
The floor will house the accessories and cosmetics collections and a new feature, the garden, an area intended as a reference point among all the local garden stores, with an offer of traditional plants and flowers, designer plants and accessories.
The accessories department will have an extensive range of items including leather goods, eyewear, textile accessories and jewelry. The cosmetics department, the first point of contact for customers using the Piazza Fiume entrance, will offer a range of luxury brands and new names in skincare, make-up and fragrances, as well as a “lab” area.
The basement, designed by the Florence-based Fabbricanove studio, will house the Home&Design and Travel departments.
The household goods offer, one of the store's traditional strengths, will be enhanced with designer brands and products. The extended offer will include furnishings, home textiles, tableware and kitchen goods, lighting, technology and an area reserved for well-known designer brands.
There will also be a temporary space for special visual setups or seasonal events. The travel offer will be upgraded and address a largely Italian and local customer. The basement will also have a NESPRESSO outlet.