After designing their flagship store in Milan in 2014, Kengo Kuma has recently completed the renovation of the new Camper store on Barcelona‘s Paseo de Gracia. “We were interested in the idea of displaying each item separately, with their own space, bringing more attention to the products,” explains Kengo Kuma. “For that we thought on a niche system composed by roof tile-like ceramic elements”.
Both Japan and Spain have a long tradition of the use of this architectural element but crafted in very different ways: roof tiles in Japan are glazed and shiny while those in the Mediterranean are left with the material naked, exposing its texture. This difference was of great interest to the studio and this project was a good chance to explore on this.
These ceramic elements, creating the niches to display the items, are very elemental in shape. Is by repeating them throughout the space that they create complexity. They become the walls, shelves, the staff counter, the customers’ bench; there is no other presence in the space besides these very simple ceramic elements. “It was exciting to us to use such an old traditional material and find new ways to craft it, to shape it, to combine its units creating different architectural elements that can solve the needs of the contemporary life,” says the design team.