Apassion, that of the Hausmann and Frielingsdorf families, that in Rome has animated three centuries of generations to take care of time, the human one. A miniaturized time, is meant, made of millimetric gears, to return a perfect scan of its flow. Five generations have succeeded each other, all spirited by a commitment: to create, restore and sell excellent products of the great Maison, but also to discover new brands in the world luxury watchmaking. Since the opening of the first shop back in 1794, after a long succession of awards, successes and opening of new boutiques, as the most recent in partnership with Rolex, Patek Philippe and Tudor, Hausmann & Co. now announces the birth of LOFT: a hub dedicated to the culture of fine watchmaking, a place where the enhancement of the past allows the ability to predict and anticipate the scenarios of the future. LOFT is both history and revitalization.
As the Group Directors Francesco Hausmann and Giulia Mauro tell us: “LOFT represents our link with the past and our drive towards the future. The idea is to create a contemporary space where you can discover the world of high-end watchmaking, through innovation and technology. To generate a community where customers are stimulated to come back not only to buy but to live at 360° passion for this world, to discover the new, deepen their knowledge, or just enjoy the place and a welcoming atmosphere”.
In particular, LOFT is aimed at four types of audience: collectors attracted by the vintage world that are inspired by classicism and the past; young creative people attentive to research, niche brands, unconventional, authors of small series or unique pieces; technology lovers: the customer will receive an NFT combined with the service offered in store, as is already the case in Rome Group’s Boutiques – the first Italian retailer to enter the Metaverse – while in the dedicated space of the Play Room, thanks to the latest and innovative technology, it will be possible to participate in reserved events that take place in other parts of the world: auctions, sales, exclusive presentations. Finally, the hipster, lover of the watch and its accessory, will be able to customize on site its watch with the master Leatherman who will create and personalise any type of strap.
A place not only for sales, but also for meetings and discoveries for fans of this world. “To convey all this, we relied on the vision and experience of architects Giorgio Grandi (GGAStudio) and Marco Covini (VisualProjectStudio) who were able to interpret our thinking”. Crossing the threshold of LOFT you are immediately projected in a timeless atmosphere where references to the past are cleverly sewn into a modern structure, made of distinct linguistic traits and equipped with contemporary features that project it towards the future. “Several fragments that cite and recall the shop in Via del Corso in Rome, where the story of Hausmann & Co.’s story began: the chandelier that welcomes at the entrance, the clock suspended over the Gallery or the decorative floor carpet, a quote in a technological key that takes you back to the one in the historic store” informs the architects Grandi and Covini. “A way to empathize with loyal customers over time, but also to welcome those who do not know the Group’s past but immediately perceive its excellence.”
It is no coincidence that at the entrance there is a sculptural seat, the result of a drawn gesture: an invitation to sit and breathe the atmosphere that combines past and future of Hausmann & Co. In the Gallery, an elegant floor covering by Dekton by Cosentino, alternating with the decorative frames in green Alpine porcelain stoneware, it serves as a spectacle to a scenic backdrop for the display of the essential and geometric watches, conceived by the designers, warmed by leather upholstery of Italian design company Poltrona Frau that suspend like precious straps, the display case time boxes. From here you enter the welcome area where, in an articulated abacus of furniture, showcases and displays to design in Fenix of Arpa Industriale, stands a historic counter for sale restored, memory of the store in via del Corso. Immediately to the right, the workshop enriched by a spectacular wallpaper, designed by the designers from Wall & Deco, which graphically recomposes pages and gears of the famous Planisferologio Farnese: an ancient mechanism capable of connecting the passage of time with the alignment of the planets, renovated by a team of technicians Hausmann & Co. in 1913, commissioned by the Vatican. In this place the master watchmakers are available to customers to restore the precious mechanisms. The welcome area also leads to the sales area: a cozy modern living room, defined by the scenic ceiling lamps by Henge, with reserved areas that create an almost familiar welcome: located in front of the large fireplace, designed ad hoc by the designers for Fumisteria Vigorelli that tell a more intimate and collected selling mode, unique in the watch industry – underlined by the Hug armchairs by Arflex that alternate with Balloon lamps by Brokis, leaning on the floor and a carpet designed by Besana Carpet. Furniture and walls, also custom-made, are upholstered in Tweed, to create an atmosphere even more muffled thanks to its intrinsic sound-absorbing qualities: a visual element that recurs in all environments. Finally, the large black frame in FENIX by Arpa Industriale, which revolves around all environments creating another visual fil rouge, becomes the architectural strategy to hide the air conditioning system. Above the environment, the great Samsung ledwall of 1x6h m, which will animate the room at events: because LOFT aims to become a place of aggregation, not only to discover the best watches on the market or unique and rare pieces, but also to create a contemporary living room where you can discover the world of high watchmaking through innovation and technology.
Another element characterizing the space, able to create a link with the past, is given by the two ancient safes brought to a new life by the bronze effect finish created specifically by Oikos. Through a spectacular staircase illuminated by Viabizzuno, one can access the first floor where there is the exclusive corner to create custom straps: behind the workbench, a craftsman specialized in leather processing will be available to the customers to guide them and create for them a unique strap. The textile floor is Blend, the carpet by Besana Carpet made with three different techniques (digital printing, bouclé and velvet) that gives preciousness to the environment. Also, the first floor dwells the Play Room: a space designed for meetings and private events, using the most modern technologies. On the same floor there is also the Vip Room, the exclusive heart of LOFT, furnished with the sophisticated products of Poltrona Frau, including the Isidoro mini bar, and illuminated with the elements of Viabizzuno that managed the overall lighting design.
Attention to detail can also be found in the bathrooms, where products by Gessi and Poltrona Frau leather covers all the doors and the interior floors of the exhibition windows.
Everything contributes to making LOFT a place to return to, enriched by poetic gestures that excite, like the delicate lanterns that accompany the moment of sale transforming it into pure emotion. To rediscover and feel deep in time. Which, as Charles Dickens calls it, is “The time. The largest and oldest of all weavers. But his factory is a secret place, his silent work, his silent hands.”
Photo credits: Stefano Pinci
Rome, June 20th, 2023
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