Category Archives: End to End

A New Shop in 4 Weeks: Ermesponti ‘s designing and refurbishing of the Corneliani boutique in Florence.

florence skylineAn important part of Ermesponti emerged in Florence.

Paolo and I studied architecture and married there. With notebook and pencil in our hands we learned the most important lessons directly from the buildings of Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Leon Batista Alberti. Of course we studied all the fundamentals of the discipline through lectures and extensive reading but we discovered the essence of the art of architecture by drawing the buildings again and again. In this way we learned the strong bond between head and hands – architecture and craftsmanship – and we understood how important method is in the arts of the Renaissance.

Back in Mantua we began to run the old workshop of the Ponti family. We transformed it with a completely new approach which we appreciated from the Florentine workshops of the Renaissance. It was a lean approach to architectural interiors. We decided to call it Ermesponti’s “end-to-end” method, which starts from scratch and goes to completion. This became the key to completing a range of projects worldwide. (Please see poddaponti architetti website here).

When we came back to Florence later with the task of refurbishing the old Corneliani boutique we were so enthusiastic to use our experience and method there. The location was so special as it was the Palazzo dell’Arte della Lana. It has such an important entrance hall from the Portico by Buontalenti and such an amazing fresco by Maestro del Bargello inside a niche on the ground floor. We immediately decided to apply the very first architectural rule we learned in Florence when we were students. We call it “Genius Loci” , which respects and highlights the character of the building. That’s the reason why here in Florence the Corneliani boutique retains the architectural features of this particular location. For example, the presence of the Florentine walls was completely respected and the displays reduced to a minimum. The colours of walls and other materials, like wood and marble, were given a slightly mat finish too.


Actually the culture of Florence and Mantua came together. On the main wall of the ground floor we obtained permission not to obstruct the fresco as well as the wall. We also designed an understated 3D monochromatic pattern as a background which brings to mind the brand of the company. This pattern was inspired by the frescos of Andrea Mantegna found in the Camera degli Sposi in Palazzo Ducale, Mantua. The company logo was located intentionally in that corner in the manner of Brunelleschi’s details evident in Cappella Pazzi.

brand wall

But our work as architects was not only concerned with design and architectural culture. Using Ermesponti’s end-to-end method, we were able to complete all the work on site in the space of five weeks. The director handed over the shop keys on February the 23. After demolition work , we organized everything from marble floors to ceilings and windows in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile we made bespoke furniture and installed it in one week while the electricians were finishing the Air Conditioning and lighting. We were able to give back the shop keys to the clients and open on the 12 of March 2016. That’s what we mean when we talk of a real turnkey project. ( Please have a look at the time schedule represented below).

time schedule

In the end we were so happy because the results exceeded our client’s expectations. We were also happy to bring back to Florence everything we had learned from the principles of architecture to the fine details of craftsmanship which is the essence of our Ermesponti’s approach to interiors.

Find out more on Ermesponti’s website.

Ermesponti designs and realizes Corneliani’s Flasgship store in Paris, Avenue Georges V: a full expression of its end-to-end method.

A wonderful Christmas present for the Mantua-based Italian fashion brand Corneliani, who opens – during the Christmas season – its new Paris Flagship store, in the heart of the city.
We have had the pleasure to design and realize the store, a commitment which deeply involved us.
The project for the parisian flagship store is based on two principles – as it always happens with Ermesponti bespoke interiors approach.
First principle comes straight from the very own brand identity: let’s not forget we are speaking about a flagship store, which requires a full and adequate representation of the brand. The second principle is more an architectural one, and is all about putting the Corneliani brand into the right context: the center of the French capital, which, is of course, a place of immense and unique personality. Furthermore, the specific location is a rather important one, right in the middle of the fashion district – the “golden triangle” – between the Champs Elysées, Avenue Montaigne e Rue Georges V.

The challenge of designing and realizing the Corneliani Flagship store in Paris had two specific aspects: the emphasis on the brand identity, and the very special context of the city, accordingly to the “Genius Loci” principles.

We have taken advantage from the façade, which – being the “face of the building” – has been designed by us to be a very special “filter” among the two strong personalities represented by the environment (city) and the brand (store).
Project for Corneliani Paris store
Corneliani Paris brise-soleil
As you can see in these images, portraying the store before our work, the exceptional dimensions (4+ meters high) of the single window – entrance of the store – have suggested us to consider it and design it as a “façade in the façade”. A marble portal all around emphasizes – as with a frame – the “window on Paris” of the Mantua brand: almost a painting signed Corneliani.
Paris Corneliani Store project sketch by ermesponti
Since the first time we visited the location, we have pinpointed the strong focus of the project, in terms of visibility. The higher part of the window-façade was actually a problem, both inside (with ceilings too high) and outside (with the need for a sunlight filter). On a functional level, a screen element was needed, something the Frenchmen call brise-soleil. 
Our choice has been to go for a functional solution that could be iconic as well… in this way.

We have designed a sort of a “Corneliani Cloud”. A real, stratified cloud of Mantegna rings, which remind immediately of the Corneliani brand pattern, and of the beautiful cultural heritage of the city of Mantua, where the brand is based.








The corporate brand pattern is strongly emphasized and multiplied by 7 intersected layers of rings, well illuminated by LED light bars. In addition to all this, we have many more layers, for light distribution and fine control.

It took months and months of prototyping in Ermesponti bespoke interiors laboratories to test the lightest materials, the combinations and orientations of lights, and all the related details.

The window-façade becomes a tridimensional element, light, transparent and shiny, almost a membrane… you can compare it with some sort of filter (or fog as in Mantua?), not only to see through, but also… to walk through!
The rings have been realized with a brand new, very innovative and super-light material, made with an aluminum sandwich-structure (D-bond). The connections have been made with over 4,000 meters of tape, with a special golden-looking textile cover. (Everyone at Ermesponti bespoke interiors has done at least a couple of hundred meters…)..

The final effect makes you think of an update of the famous Parisian “grilles”, but also of the metallic structure of the French icon par excellence – the Eiffel Tower, or of some contemporary façade such as Jean Nouvel’s Arab World Institute.

As a result, the Italian Fashion brand’s presence in Paris is now a very recognizable one, and it expresses its powerful strength by means of its brand pattern, which roots itself in the Italian Rennaissance. And while doing so, Corneliani brings such an important heritage on a very familiar plan, close to everyone passing by in the street, fitting in very well in the Parisian sensibility and culture.
And once he gets through the Mantegna cloud, the visitor finds himself inside the store, in a quadrangular hall (the long side of which is actually the façade) and quickly recognizes all the typical materials of the brand concept.
The floor is in grey imperial marble; the brand wall is covered with tiles of macassar ebony, basket-like intersected as in a precious textile; the logo is on a black carbon fiber plate. Recesses and boiserie in shiny ebony with a suede leather, light-coloured background are high and majestic and give some nice grand-style proportions to the hall.
This hall is dedicated to the top collection of the brand – ID – the modernity of which will be emphasized by every single detail of the showcase element. An example? The shelves in ebony with a linoleum top in mauve colour, worked at a 45° angle, with inox steel edge.
The cashier area is situated inside the shirt and accessory shop, well visible from the nearby entrance. The generous dressing room for this hall is aside, in the left corner.
On the opposite part of the store, a side room with a lowered ceiling is an intermediate space towards the VIP Area in the back.
This part of the space has an irregular geometry, emphasized by  the recesses, dedicated to specific products: sweaters, ties, shoes, formal dress. On the background you can notice a recess dedicated to the bespoke collection by Corneliani, which is very high-profile and renowned, among the fashion savvy, the world over. A small desk has been provided for selected customers, to sit down and choose the fabric they prefer.

ermesponti interior design: the story in pictures of a small but significant piece of contemporary architecture in a Milan historic building.

Cornelian cylindrical tailor-room by ermesponti interiors


Directly from the architect’s notebook, the first idea of a circular  volume around a structural column. From a limit to an opportunity. From a structural column a pivot space around which revolves the design section of the entire store. Seeing is believing. ermes-ponti-interior-sketch


After talking to the architects, here’s the carpenter sketch (crumpled copy of the original) Mr. Alberto has done in order to build a small piece of contemporary architecture in a Milan historic building.


We are well under way; worksite is ready. The structural work is finished, including the cutting of a supporting beam and the seismic upgrading of the entire building. The time is right: our master carpenter Alberto goes to Milan for the last check on measurements. ermes-ponti-interior-3


With the sheet hand-drawn by the architects we’ve seen earlier, plus a 3D simulation that gives the idea of the the construction’s complexity, Alberto gets to work and in the ermesponti laboratory. Here we can see the pre-assembly stage. Building time: about 20 days. ermes-ponti-interior-2


Alberto is now putting his work in place. With just one assistant. With care, intelligence, passion and taste for a well done job. This job is his job; he cares for it because he’s been taking care of it since the very first conception.ermes-ponti-interior-4


After a few days, the store is completed. A VIP circular lounge serves as a hub between the 4 levels of the store. Do you realize how complex was this circular volume around a pillar to create? The absolute consistency between the first sketch and the fina realisation, throughout the whole process is a result of our method, the ermesponti, lean,  end-to-end process :-)Dettaglio interiors Corneliani Montenapoleone store by ermesponti


But the ideas don’t stop here… you can find them in the details as well. Do appreciate the rediscovery of an old hand-crafted leather with a drawstring, usually sewn in the corners. Here is renewed, making it a three-dimensional pattern of contemporary taste. This way of working it gives a “border” to the skin surface; the little cords draw strips of different thickness on the curved panels, according to the product niches positions, made in shiny Macassar ebony with polished stainless steel profiles.

What’s a carpenter, for us at ermesponti

It’s easy to say “carpenter”.

In ermesponti we grow this ancient craft with care and respect.

Falegname presso ermespontiMany of our “falegnami” (the Italian wording our international customers don’t know) are actually master carpenters, who learned to work with wood, over the years, project after project, within our company.

In ermesponti, from the owner – who, despite fifty years of entrepreneurial history has always wanted the word “carpenter” on his ID – to be a carpenter means to be at the heart of the company, Signor ermes ponti,titolare dell'azienda omonima, al lavoro con un falegname where “thought” becomes “act” through the work of hands, and then returns then to thinking phase in a constant and smooth process, with no separation between “those who think” and “those who make”.

In ermesponti “thinking” and “making” are two perspectives of the same glance, two phases of the same project, two moments of the same day. There is no separation between the work of the mind and the work of the hand, regardless of the business roles.

Un falegname di ermesponti (Mantova, Italy) al lavoroThis constant “dialogue” between thought and action is a continuum that leads, in our opinion, to excellence in the production of a piece of interiors, whether residential, retail or yacht.

On a practical plan, here’s how the work is organized.

Every carpenter is responsible for its own work and its own micro-project (the part of the job covered in the specific work phase).
After talking with the architect on drawings, an ermesponti carpenter draws by himself the computer tabs needed for production, then cuts the panels with the CNC machine, so to achieve pinpoint accuracy even in the most challenging process; finally he completes the most important parts manually and assembles the furniture in the lab before the painting step, to verify its perfection.

This approach, simple yet not trivial, allows us to increase widespread creativity, while the natural problem solving of the artisan works together with the architect.

That is how we create value for our customers.
“If you want to be an architect, learn to be a carpenter”

We definitely agree, Mr. Shu!

Falegname al lavoro presso ermesponti Mantova

We share the same idea of beauty as the Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza.

Fondazione Italia Patria della BellezzaGiovanni Lanzone speaks of a “third renaissance” while informing us about the new foundation Italia Patria della Bellezza (“Italy Homeland of Beauty”), which he co-founded

How could we – who live and work in a Rennaissance city – not fall in love with it?

This initiative aims to…

Use beauty as a value, in all its aspects: the harmony of its territories, the empathy of the communities, the excellence of the products.

And for us entrepreneurs, we’re happy to learn that we have a key role in this vision – and a responsibility, too…

Companies as the mainstay of the communities: the art and talent of manufacturers.

Such proposal reminds us of our silent revolution  about our end-to-end method, a “holistic” approach to production inspired by people like Michelangelo and Leonardo, and – among its more modern epigones – a certain Steve Jobs, who openly acknowledged his cultural debt with the Masters of the Italian Renaissance.

To learn more:

Here the website of the Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza.

Il metodo “ermesponti” from Ermes Ponti on Vimeo.

What does ermes ponti do? One picture tells the story

We take care of interior projects, from the very first sketch to final turnkey delivery.

Just us, no one else in between you and the finest, tailor-made, personal interiors you have ever dreamed of, realised by the best artisans in the world: Italians.
How do you explain this in pictures? Easy, with a before/after comparison… enjoy!


italian bespoke interiors by ermesponti


italian bespoke interiors by ermesponti

Riferimento: Corneliani Flagship Store di Milano – Via Montenapoleone.

Almaty, Kazakhstan: retail interiors for Baby Juniors. Warm Italian atmosphere in the mall frenzy.

Baby Juniors - Interiors by ermesponti

Imagine a store for children in a great, crowded, brand new shopping centre.

Imagine to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere to make your little customers comfortable.

Imagine to be able to suggest the quality of the Italian lifestyle: Made in Italy in the air, on the walls, in the lights… in the general atmosphere.

Now, watch this become real, thanks to a 100% custom designed, Made in Italy project by ermesponti.

Italian atmosphere? Just ask!

In order to make such a dream come true, Poddaponti architetti had, in the first place, the idea of creating a scene from an historic Italian palace.

In fact, entering the store you get the feeling of being inside a Renaissance Baby Juniors - Interiors by ermespontipalace, with three rooms communicating with each other, open to imaginary Italian gardens you can stare at thanks to some stunning photos mounted on light boxes (mounted so accurately that actually customer happen to try to open the fake window).

The proportions, the choices of materials and furnishings, the whole project give such a feeling of spaciousness… you can forget about the crowded and chaotic mall.

Once inside, you can find the Italy of Palladio.

The interiors – various rooms charachterized by niches and coordinated lockers – the large bow window at the very end,  the serliana solid oak with a pickled effect… all this speaks a precise language.

The language of these environments is – no doubt about – Italian.

The Italian language of architectural tradition, and perfectly-made interiors.

You can indeed find, in this Kazakhstan shop, the Palladian proportions (in the serliana) and the typical artisan care for details only Italians are able to produce, plus – finally – the look + feel of the fashion products available in the shop: all Italian brands!

Made in Italy as user experience.

From the first look you have at the interiors, when you step in to the feeling of well-being that comes by walking around…
Baby Juniors - Interiors by ermesponti
the whole store can be defined as a true Made in Italy Experience.

In there, everything is 100% custom designed in Italy.

Among the contributors to the realisation of this retail shop: Berto Salotti for sofas, Dedar Milano for curtains and wallpapers in the bottom of the niches and also a small artisan of Murano for the stained glass blown chandelier.

And the brands represented in the store, of course,  convey the glamour of the Made in Italy fashion taste: ArmaniJunior, Dolce & Gabbana, GF Ferrè, Missoni, Monnalisa, Versace Boys

Designed in Italy = Value for money.

The designed in Italy, as we do in ermesponti, shows an extraordinary value for quality-time-cost, unbeatable for this quality.

What is often considered an unattainable luxury – bespoken or tailored interiors for instance – is not necessarily costly.

Our end-to-end approach maximizes every element of the design and construction process, keeping everything under control.

In other words: quality at the highest levels ever and short design/production process.

The qualitative results and economic are amazing, in Almaty as in New York or Mantua or… your place, wherever it is :-)

Baby Juniors - Interiors by ermesponti

Back to Italy? We never left the land of design and handmade excellence!

In the media and at conferences people start talking about “Back to Italy”.

In face, many Italian brands seem to be bringing their productions back to Italy.

We have never left Italy, here’s why: we think that working in our country is an important asset…

1. Relocation = devaluation

With the lure (sometimes never materialized) to spend less we relocated without criteria.

By detaching the mind that creates a project from the hand that realizes it, we have produced monsters, both in quality and culture terms.

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2. The real Made in Italy is made with the head and hands of Italians.

The strong cultural value of our population comes from an integration of intellectual and manual functions, as in the great tradition of Renaissance.

The separation between “those who think” and “those who do”, typical of relocation, breaks beyond repair the true value of the best national products, moreover creating unnecessary and expensive roles in the industry, by manking tha value chain longer and longer (and therefore creating the need for… controllers, for instance , people who have no role whatsoever in the process).

Form our point of view, we’ve always believed in our people and in their enormous professional value.

3. Being “local” means reduction of the supply chain (and cost).

To the people who prefer to outsource productions, ermesponti suggests the opposite: concentrate creativity, design and production.

The short chain shortens the overhead costs and enhances the specific quality of the work as an expression of a strong core, able to build on its own experience.

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4. The higher the quality, the more important the intellectual involvement, at all levels.

In a high-quality product completely bespoke (custom or handmade), the “intellectual” quality of the person who works on it cannnot be ignored.

If this person, working with her hands, is also used to make her intelligence work in the process (certainly not what happens in Fordist chains with relocated production), she is also involved in continuos improvement of the object itself.

It’s a way of working definitely Italian: that’s how our country has expressed the masterpieces that have made us famous the world over.

In this way, Italians  in Italy may be able to face the high costs of a domestic production, making it convenient and rewarding again.

5. It’s also a matter of social responsibility.

Companies not only have responsibilities to themselves: we think that the relationship with the territory can and should be part of an advanced entrepreneurial dimension.

Work creates wealth, knowledge and culture: a company must be able to reinterpret and re-propose such values to the market, in a virtuous circle of growth and evolution.

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6. The consumer is the author of products.

The new prosumer” is no longer dissociated from the environment: she is the center of the market scenario as a whole, in which territory plays a big part.

7. Purchase = identity

Most of us are tired of being only a credit card, there’s a desire to return to be men and women who interact with products in a sensible way…

Which also means to recognize a prodution, something that happens near home, and maybe involves friends or family.

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New interiors for your home or your retail business? In case you have doubts, here are our solutions.

We’ve been in business a long time, and our professional experience has taught us the questions that come to our customers’ minds when approaching an interiors project.

The following are some of the most common questions we have encountered in all these years.

Customers wander about some crucial questions and sometimes they are not very sure about where they can find the right answers. Or even if any answer is actually available at all on the global market of interior design, today.
Well, given the questions, we’d like to try to give the ermesponti answers…
Consider them the ermesponti manual to your interiors needs!

“How can I get a project for a special, cosy home, conceived and designed just for myself?”

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Ermesponti is a special place where architects and craftsmen work together for you.

We can really make your home reflect your personality. We made your own home as your best portrait: unique like you.

“Where are the highly skilled craftsmen I need to take care of my interiors project?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.32.22Your specific needs are, indeed, the only project you need.

Let the Project Masters interpret them (beware of designers uncapable of listening).

“Where are the highly skilled craftsmen I need to take care of my interiors project?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.34.40We can fit the bill.

And we do it by constantly working together – Architects, designers and artisans – as in a Renaissance Shop, in a continuous exchange of knowledge, experience, practice…

From the vision to the crafting: this is how ermesponti approaches projects.

“I need an architect and an artisan for my furniture… how can I spot such a team and have them working together for me?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.43.21We are both.  And work together for you.

Ermesponti provides a complete and full service: from the very first sketch to the final setup.

No multiple figures to talk to, stop the contractors crazy, long and overpriced game.

One shop + one person in charge + one job = result.

“I wonder how can I get a complete and full service for my bespoke interior.”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.46.19We work from the very first idea to the final installation.

For ermesponti the essential conditions to start a custom project are clients’ requirements and building’s restrictions.

That’s all we need to deliver a very personal project and a 100% bespoke solution.

“Time and cost are essential to my interiors project: how can I make sure they’re taken into the right consideration?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.45.41Tight deadlines and well-defined budgets?

They are our priority, too.

They are the starting point for a real custom project; both custom-time and custom-cost.

“I love the high quality interiors of some yatchs .. I would like to have the same custom details in own home too…how can I get it?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.45.58We can manage all of these: yachts, houses, shops.

We love cross fertilization. At top levels.

Let’s do up your spaces! We love to do it together with you; we promise it will be one of the most significant experiences of you life. Creating from a white sheet of paper the new shapes and materials for your new customized interior!

“My interiors should reflect my life… that’s why I want to change it, now, I’m in for something new! Who can interpret my mood?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.50.07You’ll be amazed at how radical and powerful a change of interiors can be!

Change your world… your interior world, and make it absolutely, unmistakably yours.

Forget the “design-by” approach  and try the “designed-for” approach to life!

“I’ve had enough of overpriced luxuries of Brands design. Where can I turn to in order to have proper quality at proper price?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.51.31We design and produce excellent quality at a fair price, and we do it just for you.

No one else in the world will have your solution.

“I dream of a high-end (but normally priced) renovation, with handmade 
work and exquisite Italian taste and touch … where are the specialists for such a interior?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.51.02We are the one-stop shop for you.

We work directly from our Mantua premises for the whole world and all kind of brand and personal projects.

In short?

If you want to change the whole world, well, that’s hard stuff.

But if you want to change your own world- the space where you live and work – with ermesponti you can. And, believe us, the standard of your own life will change with it. Nothing compares to dwell in a bespoke interior where everything is according to your style and expresses you own personality.

Contact us: we’re sure you won’t settle for anything less than your bespoke, handmade, Italian interiors!


The Chancellor’s Bungalow at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014. The eye-catching door is 320 cm high and covered with continuous veneer.

5- paolo che fa rilievo a BOnn
Dealing with the Kanzlerbungalow, which was conceived, designed and built in 1964, meant a healthy re-immersion in the architectural culture that shaped us.
It was a breath of fresh air, compared to the contemporary scene, in which architectural interiors are relegated to blank spaces to be filled with this or that brand of design furniture.
This architecture, designed and purpose-built for the German Chancellor fifty years ago, is still a significant example for us.
It reminds us that furniture in architecture is never ‘just furniture’- it blends with the building, thereby taking it beyond the usual construction industry.
There are no better words to describe the value of all this than those of Paolo Ponti, the architect who carried out a rigorous survey of the original and rebuilt it with archaeological precision, along with his craftsmen from ermesponti:
“The beauty of the Bungalow furniture lies in its simplicity: it is clean and basic, but it does conceive a sense of being valuable, but is well constructed.
It matches perfectly with the prestige of the house it is supposed to be in.
There is this feeling of excellence and style, coming from details and proportions.
The door of Chancellor’s office is 320 cm high with a rigorous selection of veneer.
The shape is simple but the beauty is great. There’s such a majesty about it and the amazing feeling you get when you handle it. What a sound it makes when you’re about to open it…
So great, it reminds you of a bank vault.
Then, when you close it, it produces a unique sound. At that point you feel all the quality and the  precision. At that moment, it all turns into pure beauty.
From the inside, it’s fully integrated in the panelling with not a cable shield or mark in sight. And the wood grain continues perfectly, with no interruption at all.
It’s wonderful in its simplicity.: it tells you the deep beauty of things simply and yet in very sophisticated way.
That’s what we liked and what we learned from this wonderful example of handicraft. You have the pure beauty of a simple shape, coming from apparently minor details, but the effect is very sophisticated.
These features turn a door into a unique, extraordinary object that is timeless and beyond trends”.
1-studio ancelliereJPG
All this reminds us how design and architectural results at this level are always based on simple and distinctive features.
This idea is something that has been faithfully fullfilled at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The presence  of  Project Masters has been fully used to execute  a perfectly defined plan.
We will always remember this setting and try to put it into practice every day with our little revolution using our end to end process.
4-riproduzione a venezia
Although we are no longer in 1964 and we don’t work for the German Chancellor, for us every customer – even the average family renovating their home – is entitled to this service.
Ours is an  approach that brings in the value of a unique, personal, bespoke project that is not higher in price than the one provided by standard solutions from so-called “luxury” brands.