Molteni&C Opens Largest Store Ever

MILAN In Brutalist glory, Italy’s Molteni&C has opened its largest flagship in the world in Shanghai with local partner Domus Tiandi.

The store spans almost 38,000 square feet and two floors. The space, which includes a showroom for Italian office furnishings company UniFor, “will play a strategic role in the expansion of Molteni&C in China,” the Molteni Group said in a statement. Domus Tiandi is China’s largest and most comprehensive design service provider of high-end imported furniture.

The original Brutalist style of the building was the inspiration for the store’s interior design, which retained its preexisting reinforced concrete industrial columns. The location boasts a gallery, which is hosting a temporary exhibition focused on Gio Ponti and the firm’s Heritage collection. It includes an indoor-outdoor restaurant.

The flagship is located in the Golden Union Shi Bo compound on the banks of the Huangpu River, adjacent to the Shanghai Power Station of Art and the Expo Riverside Dingbo Tower, designed by 2023 Pritzker Prize winner Sir David Chipperfield, the British architect known for his landmark Brutalist and modernist designs.


Inside Molteni&C’s flagship in Shanghai.

Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Flemish designer and architect Vincent Van Duysen, Molteni&C’s creative director, said his design approach of the space involved adapting cultural and artistic connotations.

“When I started thinking about that project I wanted to create the atmosphere of a palace, a succession of ordered rooms, perspectives that highlighted the grandeur of the building.…Silent but refined spaces, always different from each other, in size and finishes connected by a sculptural staircase, with details that refer to Chinese culture, in the classic sober and elegant Molteni style,” Van Duysen said.

Molteni Group, a family-controlled company, remains one of the biggest Italian design firms by revenue and has been on a store-opening spree since 2023. The group is now present in more than 100 countries, with more than 700 stores and 100 monobrand flagships. In 2023, the firm opened flagships in Melbourne; Kunming and Taichung, China; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Doha, Qatar; Frankfurt, and Helsinki. In 2024, 10 more stores will be opened around the world. Next week, the firm will open one in San Francisco and another in Majorca, Spain. Molteni Group, which owns Molteni&C, UniFor and Citterio, had a consolidated turnover of 475 million euros in 2023, 70 percent of which was international.  

“In this important year, we want to share our goal for the future: spreading the culture of quality living throughout the world,” said Carlo Molteni, president of the Molteni Group, during the firm’s 90th anniversary celebration during Milan Design Week in April. Molteni is the son of Angelo and Giuseppina Molteni who founded the firm in 1934.


Molteni&C’s flagship in Shanghai.

Jonathan Leijonhufvud


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