Little Shoes in Barcelona guides children's first steps
A small shop opened in 2015 in Carre del Bruc in Barcelona, Little Shoes specialises in children’s footwear. Thanks to an attentive project which uses carefully selected materials and finishings to make the most of a narrow interior, it creates a luminous, welcoming space for its young customers.
Marta Hernandez, mother of three and originator of the Little Shoes commercial project, commissioned Catalan firm Nábito Architects, founded by Roberto Ferlito and Alessandra Faticanti with offices in Barcelona and Dubai, with the task of fitting out the shop, followed by a new store in Muntaner Street.
Unitary, simple, uncluttered and with a strong personality, it is located close to Avenida Diagonal and not far from the Passeig de Gràcia shopping street. An entrance with a single large and completely transparent display window opens onto a small, almost cubic interior measuring 4.40 x 4.60 m: this is the main room of the shop which, if we include its back room with storage area and bathrooms, covers just 100 sq.m. on two floors.
The interior design project, based on a very simple and yet effective idea, is conceived to create a likeable and comfortable space which is, as demanded by the owner and the product itself, intended to be used by children. Inspired by the pages of the squared exercise books in which we learn to write numbers and letters and make our first drawings, it uses the layout of the pages as a 2D grid to cover the entire interior, horizontal and vertical. On this basis, it deforms the walls and floors three dimensionally, with niches in the walls and cubes and parallelepipeds which, like children’s building blocks, act as surfaces for displaying the products within the reach of all: their varying heights make them ideal for users of all ages to try them out, with special attention to the children themselves.
Dominated by total white, a colour which, together with the carefully located mirrors, increases the spaciousness of the rather small interior, the design uses pastel coloured curtains and plaster in the back room to temper the initially somewhat sterile effect.
The perfect means of expression for such particular projects, ice colour Italian porcelain tiles (Ceramica Vogue, Trasparenze and Interni series) play an important role in Little Shoes, laid in a variety of formats as square white elements extending seamlessly over the floor, walls and ceiling. The modularity of the 5×5 cm, 10×10 cm and 20×20 cm formats allows for variations on the theme, enabling the grid to adapt to the perspective and volumes, and becomes a backdrop for the colourful decorations and texts which animate the whole.
Ceramica Vogue, serie Trasparenze e Interni
5x5, 10x10, 20x20 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 1,5
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): G.B. min
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant