Zara Flagship, Rome

Just when you thought Zara had become the ubiquitous face of fast fashion in our city centres, along comes a flagship store that completely changes all our perceptions.

We must never forget that Zara was the brand that kick started the ‘push for posh’ some fifteen years ago, welding white box luxury to value fashion.

With the exception of a few architecturally interesting stores (namely the beautiful store in central Athens, the Salamanca flagship in Spain, the mighty Milan flagship and the old Duke of York Barracks in Chelsea, London) the majority of Zara’s 1500 stores worldwide are predictably, respectably…er, nice.

This stunning Rome flagship, once home to the famous Rinascente department store, represents a new era for Zara. Following its Barcelona eco store (also featured on need to know) which bravely experimented with recycled water and low energy lighting, this store has truly embraced its planet-friendly ambitions to create what we believe is the first of a new era of eco-glam stores.

The enormous classical arches are screened with perforated metal panels that become an internal merchandising system that also allows daylight to seep in to the store. At night these panels help make the architecture literally glow like a lantern.

The stats are pretty impressive too. The store consumes 30% less energy, 80% less water and avoids more than 200 tonnes of carbon emissions. There’s an automatic monitoring system that adjusts the temperature, humidity and light levels and motion detectors to turn the lights off when it’s quiet. And all of this is controlled back at HQ in Spain.

Futuristic stuff indeed.


Via del Corso 189, Rome, Italy

Zara Rome on Youtube


Duccio Grassi Architects
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