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Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has revamped Cassina’s showroom in Midtown Manhattan for her first major project since joining the Italian furniture brand as art director. The renovated store in New York was apparently inspired by Cassina’s own history, which “reflects the work of the great architectural masters of Modernism”. Cassina is the latest in a string of European design brands targeting New York. Moooi, Tom Dixon and Arper have all recently opened outposts in the city, as the American market for high-end design is “growing incredibly”.

Urquiola was appointed as Cassina art director in September this year by furniture company Poltrona Frau Group, which acquired the brand in 2005. Poltrona Frau in turn was bought by American furniture brand Haworth in February 2014, turning the company into a global operation. For the 600-square-metre (6,500 square feet) store, Urquiola referred to historic pieces such as Italian designer Franco Albini’s 1939 Veliero bookshelf. The storage unit features a pair of V-shaped wooden supports, which were reinterpreted as structural elements throughout the interior.

Decorative corrugated panelling in grey oak with metallic accents has been added to central pillars and sections of the walls, and is intended as a subtle nod to the Albini bookcase. Suspended mesh screens distinguish between sections of the shop, and asymmetrical backlit glass panes reference the windows of Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut chapel, in France. Cassina marked the Modernist architect’s 50th anniversary this year with a range of wooden tables by Jaime Háyon, designed to look like the curved structural elements of Le Corbusier’s iconic buildings.

It also turned wood from a paulownia tree, originally planted by the architect at his Villa le Lac, into a collection of decorative wooden objects. At the store, a copper staircase leads shoppers downstairs. Here Urquiola has added a space designed to resemble an apartment, divided into living, dining, bedroom and office areas. The store showcases a selection of products from brands owned by Haworth, including Cassina, Cappellini and Poltrona Frau.

“The Cassina showroom aims to strengthen the brands’ presence in the area confirming it as a key destination to serve both industry professionals and consumers with an interest in high quality and authentic design,” said Cassina in a statement. Urquiola, 54, is based in Milan and is regarded as one of the world’s most important female designers, working on projects ranging from furniture and lighting to interiors.

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