Forte Forte: A Harmony between Light and Matter

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An intense dialogue between Robert Vattilana and Giada Forte for the design of the first Forte Forte branch in the US has resulted in an ineffable, precise, delicate, and sturdy aesthetic. The environment of this Italian fashion brand’s boutique provides tactile and visual sensations.

The construction of this boutique is made based on the atmospheric uniqueness of the place, meant as a multidimensional space that is not only emotional but also geographical. The boutique is located at 8424 Melrose Place in Los Angeles, on the ground floor of a building that was approximately built in the 1930s.

The whole design of the boutique expresses simplification that amplifies the emotion in the dialogue with Los Angeles city. The solidity and transparency intertwine, curves and straight lines, and light and matter echo the lines and volumes of California modernism. The contrasting look with the Italian finishes and materials can enrich the balance of components with further unique nuances.

The First Forte Forte Branch in the US

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Two windows of the boutique open onto the street. These windows are framed by the sage green enameled metal facade. The door is made of enameled wood with a large round grit handle. The spatial clarity with the harmonious flow of textures invites everyone to come and linger.

Delicate tones of powder dominate the look of the boutique, from the natural lime mixed with the corn straw of the coverings and the resin of the floors. This boutique is also beautified in white by the full–height muslin curtains used as immaterial and permeable partitions. The angular and metallic geometry of the brass back wall highlights the space’s depth and width.


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The lost four thin columns in the ceiling inside three non–concentric circles of plaster is an homage to James Turrell. Poised one above the other in the exhibition area, two huge stones are a tribute to the work of Peter Fischli and David Weiss.

A harmonious balance of curves and straight lines comes from the stage box. On the left side, the volume is squared. On the right side, the round wall incorporates a small pillar and dressing rooms. On the two long sides, there are calligraphic hangers that display boutique products.

Placed on vertical support with a helical movement, the scotch brite brass plates are used as a display together with a sculptural brass net curtain with glass ampoules.


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The furnishings add colors and textures to this boutique: a large circular bench with perforated leather cushions, a powder–colored daybed with golden studs, a modernist-style triptych mirror, and seats in curved wood covered with gold leaf.

The dressing rooms at the back of the shop open like a jade green capitonné velvet, shrining behind two curved brass doors with large portholes. One can redefine the boutique space inside thanks to the velvet curtain. With the products contained in archive modules on rails and hidden from view, the warehouse and the cash deck become a functionalist extension.

It is a vibrant and concise project in an ineffable balance of the geometric and the organic with a harmony between light and matter.


Forte Forte Gallery

Images Courtesy: Forte Forte

Karin Hoover

Karin Hoover

Total posts created: 2959
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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