Milan Design Week 2023: Louis Vuitton’s “Pavilion Nomad” by Marc Fornes’ THEVERYMANY

In Palazzo Serbelloni, a shimmering sculpture greets guests before an exhibition of the heritage brand's Objets Nomades

One of the most alluring attributes of Milan Design Week is the city of Milan itself—a place where a stone planter on a street corner or a petite door into a private courtyard quietly attract attention. As such, brands often tap into the city’s splendors and invite guests to step into the extraordinary. Epitomizing this pairing of design and destination, “Pavilion Nomad” is being presented by Louis Vuitton in the heart of the historic Palazzo Serbelloni as an accompaniment to the release of the prestigious brand’s new Objets Nomades pieces. Designed by the New York-based French architect Marc Fornes, also known as THEVERYMANY, the shimmering, organic structure is composed of more than 1,600 ultra-thin strips of anodized aluminum (with no two pieces exactly the same). The bulbous, metallic and coral-like creation even welcomes visitors to explore within.

“We are between two different worlds to some extent,” Fornes tells COOL HUNTING. His description of his studio and the thought process behind and development of the pavilion is poetic in nature. “On one hand, there is the research behind this unified system. The skin is everything. It is both your experience and your envelope but it’s also your structure. There is no traditional element of architecture like beams or columns.”

“On the other hand, beyond the experimental structural aspects that we explore at the studio,” he continues, “it’s really about defining the experience. It’s about allowing the guests to let go and enjoy the moment. It’s about having the ability to spend time but also losing the notion of time. When you enter, you can follow along the surface. You can read into it whatever you like. It’s not referential to anything but everyone reads something in it.”

Fornes explains that his favorite interaction with “Pavilion Nomad” arrived while observing children playing inside. At first, they paid no attention to the unique composition of the structure. Then they began to slow down and marvel at the fact that it did not have walls like any they’d known before. Remarkably, this was our personal experience as well—one, first, of wonder; the second of wondering how it stood upright.

Though “Pavilion Nomad” greets guests in grand form, it is far from the only delight on site. Throughout several rooms of Palazzo Serbelloni (above a majestic spiraling staircase), the heritage brand introduces 10 astonishing new Objet Nomades furniture and design pieces with partners Raw Edges, Marcel Wanders, Atelier Oï, Zanellato/ Bortotto, Atelier Biagetti and Fernando & Humberto Campana. In a garden tucked behind the palazzo, a glistening, geometric pop-up structure houses acclaimed industrial designer Marc Newson‘s “Cabinet of Curiosities,” a reimagining of the iconic monogrammed Louis Vuitton travel trunk that features an interior organized with 19 leather-covered cubes. It’s an exclamation point to the spectacular installation.

Louis Vuitton’s entire Milan Design Week 2023 exhibition will run through 23 April from 10AM to 8PM.

Images by Josh Rubin