Foster + Partners and Apple injects modernity into Rome’s Palazzo Marignoli
June 4, 2021
Written by Shan Arcega
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Apple and Foster + Partners completely took this to heart in a collaboration to set up the Apple Via del Corso–the largest Apple store in Europe in the newly restored historic Palazzo Marignoli. Palazzo Marignoli is a 17th-century structure perched in the center of Rome, specifically on Via del Corso where some of the most striking baroque style architecture can be found. Palazzo Marignoli, in particular, honors the Italian capital’s rich history and was an urban palace designed in the 19th century by architects Salvatore Bianchi and Giulio Podesti.
Centered around a huge courtyard dotted with beautiful camphora trees, the palazzo welcomes visitors with a rusticated stone facade patterned with classical pediments and friezes alongside other historical features while the interior flaunts stunning hand-painted ceilings, patterned tilework, and classical moldings that harmonizes with Foster + Partners new designs. These include subtle features for the interiors like locally sourced Carrara marble that frames floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Throughout the structure’s interior, visitors can find themselves surrounded by fabulous walls of plain white marble.
Though these are subtle features, they were highlighted by pale wood and leather furniture that compliment and bring warmth to the structure’s historical opulence.
The palazzo’s ballroom on the first floor meanwhile was converted into an open forum space with Apple’s Genius bar where the ceiling hovers over visitors with its hand-painted, geometric patterns restored to its original beauty.
Inside, the palazzo also boasts an oculus that crowns the central stairwell and atrium where visitors bathe underneath rays of natural light. Alongside these architectural elements, the structure also houses the early 1900’s ceiling murals by Fabio Cipolla and Ettore Ballerini which have been restored and are placed between the ceiling paneling.
Aside from housing the banker and Italy’s previous senator marquis Filippo Marignoli, this palazzo also became home to Caffè Aragno, a famous gathering spot for artists. Now, it serves as Apple Via del Corso–one of the most beautiful Apple stores to crown Europe.