Hip rug company Nanimarquina has opened its first shop, having chosen Barcelona as the perfect city in which to do so. It’s a very unusual shop where customers can appreciate the rugs’ beauty at first hand and familarise themselves with the essence of the brand, namely its flair for giving tradition a contemporary twist. The 750m sq, three-storey premises – situated at the intersection of one of Barcelona’s main shopping drags, Avenida Diagonal, and calle Rosellón – occupy a former car park, some of whose original features have been retained, from an entrance ramp and original paving stones to its structural beams. The result is a grittily industrial, ultra-modern style which constrasts strikingly with the vibrantly colourful rugs on display. Dotted around the shop, which was designed by architect Robert Palli and which opened last December, is decorated with tiny, intriguing treasures which the designer Nani Marquina and her team have picked up on their travels to Asia, Africa and South America – a cornucopia of artesanal objects like baskets, textiles, little cups, blankets, cushions and teapots, many of which have provided inspiration for the brand’s designs. More specifically, these include such stunning objects as lungis – squares of fabric worn around the waist, generally by Hindus brooms made in India out of twigs. On the top floor, there’s a kitchen which gives visitors the chance to taste teas and coffees from all over the world; next to this are two big tables designed to be used for institutional and business meetings, product launches and important media events. This project, which has long been a dream of Nani Marquina’s and which has finally come to fruition, demonstrates the company’s commitment to putting its customers in direct contact with its designs – something it considers a key part of its business strategy. ‘Until recently, we sold our designs via distributors, but we now want to sell these more directly to our customers. We also want to create a space where customers can appreciate our products at first hand – and learn more about the brand and its core values,’ explains Marquina, who describes the showroom as being more of a gallery than a shop.
Its first US showroom attracts many American opinion formers in the hospitality sector.In March this year, contemporary rug design company nanimarquina officially opened its first showroom in the US, in the heart of New York.In accordance with nanimarquina’s core values, the showroom is in the heart of SoHo, a district which blends history, art, creativity and innovation. The space was created by the company’s design team in the same style as its offices and showroom in Barcelona, and is intended to allow US visitors to enjoy the designs, colours, textures and unique materials of this hand-crafted rug firm, and learn more about its manufacturing methods.At its opening, company founder nanimarquina said: ‘North America is one of the markets that’s growing the most for us. It has a huge potential, given its creative nature. We’ll be delighted to welcome our clients and inform them about our history and its links to design.’Since it opened, the showroom has become one of the coolest shops in the Big Apple. Many American architects and designers visit it to acquire its products for many projects in both the residential and hospitality sectors. nanimarquina now consolidates its position as one of Spain’s most directional design companies to be found in the US, helped not a little by its constant participation in fairs, PR activities, presence in the media and adverts it takes out in T Magazine (The New York Times’s style magazine).