Two Valentino flagship stores in London and Rome are the subject of an extensive feature in this month’s Domus magazine. David Chipperfield Architects Milan has been working in close collaboration with Valentino’s creative directors since 2008. The concept is centred on the idea of creating spaces of permanence and simplicity reminiscent of classical palazzi. The format replaces the usual superficial decoration and scenography often used for retail spaces with a timeless expression of architectural form in durable and solid materials. Both the London and Rome stores mark an important step in the store concept’s evolution. The store on Bond Street occupies the entire building with a new façade which introduces Portland stone to the palette, while a core element housing the lifts and staircases is entirely made of oak. Returning to Valentino’s original roots in Rome, new materials and local techniques have been added to the established vocabulary. Non-structural arches on the first floor have been finished with polished white plaster while on the ground floor double layers of brick combine both loadbearing and reinforcing arches.