The In­te­ri­ors Is­sue

Un­ortho­dox ma­te­ri­als and in­trigu­ing tex­tures dis­tin­guish Ciszak Dal­mas and Mat­teo Fer­rari Stu­dio’s rough yet warm Madrid shop for an ar­ti­sanal leather-goods brand

Azure - - CONTENTS - cisza­k­dal­, mal­

One of the most el­e­gant streets in Madrid, Calle de Ser­rano is a long, busy thor­ough­fare where many old busi­nesses have been re­placed by con­tem­po­rary stores. The lat­est ad­di­tion is Mal­ababa, a shop show­cas­ing the leather bags and shoes of de­sign­ers Ana Car­rasco and Jaime Lara. To trans­form the for­mer auc­tion house into their flag­ship, the pair en­gaged the lo­cal de­sign­ers Ciszak Dal­mas along with Mat­teo Fer­rari Stu­dio. The first thing the team did was open up and en­large the four win­dows on each side of the build­ing, which sits on a cor­ner, in or­der to show off the mer­chan­dise to street traf­fic and bring in nat­u­ral light. The 160-squareme­tre space, fea­tur­ing 3.9-me­tre ceil­ings, is or­ga­nized into two ca­pa­cious ar­eas on dif­fer­ent lev­els. The en­trance is de­voted to dis­play­ing bags and small ob­jects, while the up­per sec­tion is ded­i­cated to shoes and to pro­vid­ing space for cus­tomers to sit down and try them on. In an ef­fort to re­flect Mal­ababa’s core val­ues, which em­pha­size authen­tic­ity, raw beauty and sus­tain­abil­ity, Ciszak Dal­mas used lo­cal, eco­log­i­cally friendly ma­te­ri­als, im­per­fect tex­tures and a nat­u­ral colour pal­ette. “The whole project was an op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge the use of con­ven­tional fin­ishes,” says Al­berto Gob­bino Ciszak, who runs the stu­dio with An­drea Caruso Dal­mas. The main walls are a mix of Gali­cian clay, white mar­ble pow­der and non-toxic food thick­en­ers. This com­pos­ite ma­te­rial reg­u­lates air mois­ture and tem­per­a­ture, keeps the space free of bac­te­ria and helps save en­ergy. Brass rods high­light a stair­case to the base­ment level; where they ex­tend to the ceil­ing, they ac­cen­tu­ate the height of the in­te­rior. Two mo­bile lat­tice struc­tures are po­si­tioned against the win­dow and on the stair­case lead­ing to the base­ment. With their geo­met­ric pat­tern of flat, hand­made bricks in a va­ri­ety of muted hues – from pink to yel­low to white – the lat­tices help to “al­ter peo­ple’s per­cep­tion of the space,” says Ciszak. Against this neu­tral can­vas, strate­gi­cally de­signed el­e­ments stand out. Mo­bile plinths, for ex­am­ple, serve as dis­play pieces and can be re­ar­ranged as re­quired. A num­ber of them are made of lime­stone from Seville, while some are cov­ered in the soft leathers that Car­rasco and Lara use to fash­ion their prod­ucts. Still oth­ers are made out of small pieces of agate, an el­e­ment that Mal­ababa in­cor­po­rated into one of its sig­na­ture bags. The same stone was paired with ce­ment to cre­ate a can­tilevered “ter­razzo” counter. Be­hind the counter, a small, grotto-like space for the cashier has been cov­ered with Pe­goland, a tile mor­tar that the de­sign­ers ren­dered rough yet warm by mix­ing it with a pink pig­ment, for “an el­e­gant touch of colour.” But the pièce de ré­sis­tance is an idio­syn­cratic nat­u­ral-leather cur­tain as­sem­bled by an Ar­gen­tinian ar­ti­san in the Mal­ababa work­shop. Made from large, ir­reg­u­lar of­f­cuts of veg­etable-tanned cowhide leather, it serves as a per­fect/ im­per­fect em­blem of the brand.

Cover photo of Toronto restau­rant Quet­zal by Arash Moallemi A cur­tain made from veg­etable-tanned leather of­f­cuts pro­vides wow ef­fect at the Mal­ababa shop in Madrid. Photo by Asier Rua

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