Widely used in Catalonia, the bóveda (vault) is one of the most elegant structural supports in the design world. They appear to defy physics, confounding beholders with their layered brickwork and gentle curves (see the example of the Soriano-Manzanet family vault in Villareal, Spain).
Taking inspiration from this architectural tradition, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma redesigned footwear store Camper. Using both the characteristic terracotta orange and vault curves, a series of connected ceramic tiles make up the display units, giving each shoe design its own individual space. The result is a simple yet intricate repeated pattern reminiscent of a beehive that gives the shop a unique character despite the limited colour palette.
The same dusty brick colour of the curved tiles is used to clad the cash register and non-display areas of the store. Enlisted to bring the vision to life was Cerámica Cumella, local to the project and ideal to ensure the warm Catalonian culture was perfectly represented.
Although Camper’s largely unadorned shop may help individual shoe designs stand out, for a Tile Addict the focus can hardly be drawn from the stunning curves.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, June 2019