Conceptual private members Club Unseen for Salone del Mobile is out of sight

Two side-by-side interior photos of Studiopepe’s Club Unseen. The first photo shows the illuminated bar with brown and clear curved design elements. And the second photo is a close up of the bar that has a glass of drink on top. There is a hand adding a piece of fruit to the drink
The illuminated bar at Studiopepe’s Club Unseen presented mixology like performance art
(Image credit: TBC)

The discreet, almost anonymous street presence of Club Unseen – industrial whitewashed windows and a small neon logo – didn’t prevent the pop-up club from becoming one of the most popular installations of this year’s Fuorisalone. Initially billed as ‘one of the best kept secrets of Salone’, word spread fast and the club created by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto, aka multidisciplinary design agency Studiopepe, swiftly became one of the hottest tickets in town. Guests gained entry via a tattoo (sent by post) of the simple circular logo, adding to the intrigue.

‘We wanted to create an exclusive place, an informal refuge away from the usual crowded itineraries,’ explained Di Pinto of the six-room club, which occupied a former late 19th-century warehouse on the ground floor of an elegant historic Milanese property in the Piazza Tricolore neighbourhood. The series of rooms, laid out in linear format to suit the slender footprint of the space, were furnished in furniture, lighting and finishes custom-designed by Studiopepe for the project, combined with classic and contemporary pieces, wallcoverings and elements curated from almost 30 brands including Agape, &Tradition, de Sede, Dedar and Tacchini.

At the heart of the Club, located between two lounge areas was the bar; an illuminated screen that turned the ‘gestures of mixology’ into performance art. Drinks were served via a theatrical horizontal opening that revealed only the white-gloved forearms and hands of the bartenders as they prepared the cocktails with slow, exaggerated mannerisms.

Geometric forms and grid patterns recurred throughout the predominantly pastels and silver space lending a graphic, modern feel – even staff were dressed in matching white dungarees and pink Philippe Model sneakers. However – like the dungarees – there were plenty of retro design references too. In the reception area lacquered ceramic ‘Haiku’ tiles, designed by Studiopepe for Botteganove, featuring a Tetris-like pattern were inspired by ‘the three-dimensional rhythm’ of Carlo Scarpa’s concrete architecture.

The interior also paid homage to the Seventies with one small room totally devoted entirely to a maxi-size sofa as a nod to ‘the performances of the Radical Design movement’ of that decade (currently also being celebrated as part of Vitra’s Night Fever exhibition). Several of Studiopepe’s bespoke pieces offered a sharp 21st-century update of Seventies elements too. Wall hangings appeared in the form of the ‘Talisman – Ultra Talisman’ pieces that combined mirrors and lighting elements with hand-knotted mohair and CC-Tapis fringes. Meanwhile, the Cloud Nine neon tube chandelier for Tecnolux suspended above the maxi sofa, introduced a touch of disco, which many argue was the ultimate expression of Radical Design.

Augmented reality played a part too with animated content available via the Aria app with a variety of visuals viewable on Studiopepe flyers, tailored for social media. If this is the future of Milan installations, we’ll have our tattoos at the ready for next year.

Two side-by-side photos of Club Unseen. The first photo is of the reception area featuring a white chair, a table with a white, round top and sculptures placed on it, a tiled wall with recessed shelving, a grey tubular wall and sphere lights hanging from the ceiling. And the second photo is of the club's exterior and the lights are on inside

The anonymous exterior of Club Unseen and the reception area with Rietveld’s 637 Utrecht chair by Cassina and walls tiled in ‘Haiku’ by Botteganove

(Image credit: TBC)

Two side-by-side interior photos of Studiopepe’s Club Unseen. The first photo features two round mirrors with a black frame. And the second photo is of a patterned pouffe and a tall rectangular mirror with curved edges and a round mirror at the top. Both spaces have pink, textured walls

Custom-designed pieces in Club Unseen by Studiopepe include the Revolving Moon mirror by Agape

(Image credit: TBC)

Interior view of the lounge at Studiopepe’s Club Unseen. The space features peach and light pink seating, a blue and silver chair, a low table with a plant in a green vase and other items, a round light green side table and a pink fluffy wall hanging suspended in front of a pastel green tubular wall

One of the lounge areas inside Club Unseen featuring a mixture of custom-designed and curated pieces

(Image credit: TBC)

Two side-by-side interior photos of Studiopepe’s Club Unseen. The first photo is of a small room filled with pink seating and cushions in different shapes. It also has pink curtains at the back, pink walls, multiple curved ceiling lights and a purple arch at the entrance. Outside the room is a round wall-mounted mirror with a fluffy wall hanging beneath it. And the second photo is a close up of a pink fluffy wall hanging with a triangular light and metal element at the top

The Radical Design inspired room featuring the maxi-size sofa and Studiopepe’s Talisman wall hangings

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information visit the Studiopepe website