Kengo Kuma is a Japanese architect well known for several creations, especially for his iconic project “Aurore”, a mixed-use hospitality, ecological and innovative building that will be completed in Paris in 2022.

Recently, the talented architect has been invited by luxury leather goods brand Valextra to design its Lombard store for the Fall/Winter 2018 collection. Well known for his “green” inspiration, the architect therefore created a wonderful forest inside Valextra’s store in Milan.

Using carefully selected raw planks of cedar wood and adding reflecting surfaces Kuma plays with perspectives. This attraction to nature is the artist’s answer to urban stress, meaning that nature, trees and plants are a perfect way to relax.

Each room in the store has its own story and color inspired by different kinds of wood. This indoor forest is completed by a collection of large-scale illustrations on silk scarves created by Italian street-artist El Gato Chimney. These figures portray mythical animals combined with esoteric and folkloric details.

“This is Valextra’s gift to its native city, expressing a desire for natural lightness and celebration of beauty, offering a multisensory immersion into a place of childhood memories and magical atmospheres”, stated Valextra. “This dreamy forest becomes the backdrop for a visual story that permeates the whole fall/winter collection”.