Surrealism is one of the specialties of the house at Giorgio Borruso Design. In Rome, at the flagship of the women's fashion label Fornarina, chromed "eyes" display shoes. For a Fornarina shop in London, Giorgio Borruso went for the effect of clouds billowing against a blue sky. "I love London—but not its gray weather," the architect says. "This luminous membrane makes customers forget for a moment that it's raining outside."
Borruso achieved that effect by covering portions of the ceilings and walls in the two-level, 1,750-square-foot space with 1,000 biomorphic pieces of molded polycarbonate and backlighting them with color-changing LEDs that shift from blue to white. Thanks to metal strips, the pieces are attached magnetically, allowing them to be rearranged at any time. The industrial magnets are strong enough to support even the larger pieces, which display Fornarina's 300 shoe styles each season.
For the floating staircase, Borruso fashioned a curved steel spine. Balustrades of surfboard-shape clear acrylic enhance the fluidity. Upstairs, flirty dresses and separates hang on ceiling-mounted steel fixtures.
Borruso kept colors and lighting simple overall. At one point every afternoon, however, the LEDs shift from bluish-white to fuchsia, representing a sunset.