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Welcome to the Gucci Garden: Alessandro Michele celebrates luxury brand with restaurant and museum in Florentine palace

The creative director of Gucci has opened a restaurant, museum and gift shop dedicated to the luxury fashion house – in a 14th-century Florentine palace.

Alessandro Michele decided to open the attraction, called Gucci Garden, as a fun and accessible introduction to the brand and “a hypnotic territory that alters the state of consciousness and perception".

The attraction spans three floors within the Palazzo della Mercanzia, which previously housed a smaller Gucci museum.

The newly designed space features a gift store selling unique Gucci fashion and homeware items, a cinema auditorium and a restaurant run by three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura.

The museum covers two storeys and is divided into a series of themed rooms, curated by fashion critic Maria Luisa Frisa, which celebrate the archives of the fashion house by showcasing old advertising campaigns, design sketches and retro objects.

The journey inside the exhibition space begins inside ‘Guccification’, where Gucci’s double 'G' motif and ever-changing brand typographies are displayed in their many forms.

‘Paraphernalia’ is a room dedicated to signature codes and symbols that define Gucci’s identity while ‘Cosmorama’ explores “the historical jet-set customer of Gucci”.

The gallery continues on the second floor with ‘De Rerum Natura’, two rooms that recall natural history museums and explore Michele’s curiosity for animals and gardens – "a vital part of the new Gucci narrative”.

Finally, ‘Ephemera’ retraces the journey of the company through historic objects, videos and memorabilia.

In an interview with Vogue, Michele said luxury brands must diversify their offerings in order to stay relevant in the era of social media.

“Now is the time for fashion to open the doors to something different than dresses, otherwise the market will collapse,” he said. “It’s clear now that the world is not interested in things which have no soul or meaning.

“With this store, I was thinking about somewhere I would love to go, and somewhere to have fun. It’s more accessible than our other stores.”

Many of Europe’s most storied luxury fashion brands have opened museums. A 126,000sq ft (11,705sq m) Frank Gehry-designed museum, which houses Vuitton’s private collection, has become a popular Paris attraction since opening in October 2014, and museums dedicated to the life and work of Yves Saint Laurent opened last year in Marrakech and Paris.

Gucci  Gucci Garden  Alessandro Michele  Florence  Italy  design  fashion  Massimo Bottura  Massimo Bottura 
The creative director of Gucci has opened a restaurant, museum and gift shop dedicated to the luxury fashion house – in a 14th-century Florentine palace. Alessandro Michele decided to open the attraction, called Gucci Garden, as a fun and accessible introduction to the brand and “a hypnotic territory that alters the state of consciousness and perception". The attraction spans three floors within the Palazzo della Mercanzia, which previously housed a
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The newly designed space features a gift store selling unique Gucci fashion and homeware items / Gucci
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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