The Merchant of Venice store, Campo San Fantin, Venice




Mavive s.p.a.


Campo San Fantin,
Venice, Italy


October 2013


and design of spaces


Paolo Lucchetta


Miyako Noda
Vanessa Filippetto


Interior Design concept

The historical San Fantin pharmacy becomes the first flagship store The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice is the latest project of the Venetian Mavive brand. It is a line of luxury fragrances inspired by the Venetian art of perfume. Venice was famous indeed for being one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean for trading. Thanks to the Mude, the naval trade expeditions routes, precious essences and spices reached Venice to be sold throughout Europe.

Such an ambitious project could only choose a prestigious venue for the opening of the first flagship store of the brand: the old pharmacy of Campo San Fantin in Venice.

The seventeenth century pharmacy is located in Campo San Fantin, in the heart of the city, next to the Gran Teatro La Fenice . The location has had a great historical importance since the mid-seventeenth century, when Campo San Fantin housed a pharmacy dedicated to St. Paul.
In 1846 the architect Giambattista Meduna fitted out the pharmacy that has recently been restored; it is now possible to appreciate it in its greatest splendour.

Meduna experimented a new, modern language, if we compare his work for the venues of the pharmacy to the plain neoclassical codes that the he had used a decade earlier for the design of the Gran Teatro La Fenice. A flamboyant Gothic style characterizes the furniture and the decorations of these environments. The architectural inspiration comes from the ancient Venetian palaces, as we can see in the design of the walnut planking and in the wooden and terracotta decorations.

Among the wooden sculptures there are four large noteworthy statues of the sculptor Pietro Zandomeneghi. The sculptures represent Botany, Medicine, Surgery and Physics surrounded by twelve smaller allegorical figures. The central walnut counter has a large relief depicting the stills of an alchemy laboratory. The new adventure of the Vidal family is inserted in the very great Venetian tradition of perfume; the family looked after the restoration and took care of the precious spaces and history of the San Fantin pharmacy.

The project aims to find a balance between the development of a unique place and the presentation of the new fragrances and objects of the collections of The Merchant of Venice.
Like the ancient merchants of Venice, who managed to procure to the European perfumers the raw materials of the highest quality thanks to the Mude, the naval trading routes, the Mavive brand brings back to life the skills of the art by proposing a new line, The Merchant of Venice, inspired by that ancient wisdom.

This project, “made of light and olfactory feelings”, is based on sophisticated lighting choices. Miniaturized led lamps have been chosen in order to point out, with the help of projections and backlights, the unique wooden framework and the quality of the aesthetic research of the glass bottles of the Merchant. Great attention has been given as well to the olfactory side of this elegant experience, by curating not only the venue but also the ways by which the costumer disclose and experience the fragrances and scents that will be found in the shop.

Books, objects and perfumes are arranged in the niches of the old pharmacy, while the adjoining room is dedicated to the new collections and to customer care, in a space characterized by bright frames and essential, elegant furniture.
Tradition, innovation, memory and modernity are the ingredients of a project that will be spread in airports, museums, shops and historical temples of the new business, accompanied by the eternally fascinating story of the Mude of Venice, city of art and historical capital of fashion and culture.

Related projects
Other works Style
The Merchant of Venice, Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Venice
Man Floors, Rinascente, Turin
Man floor, Rinascente, Rome
Ferutdin Zakirov showroom, Milan
Z Zegna showroom, Milan
Officina Slowear, Paris