It’s no secret that Milan is the design hotbed of Italy. Once home to some of history’s most renowned artists (da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Mantegna), thousands of interior design professionals and enthusiasts now flock to the city every April for the awe-inspiring displays and installations that fill galleries and showrooms during Milan Design Week. Yet, some of the most interesting locations for art exhibitions aren’t in conventional galleries and showrooms at all, as proved by this week’s #WebsiteWednesday: Alcova.xyz.
Alcova.xyz is the home of Milan-based independent design platform, Alcova. Developed by two Italian design studios, Space Caviar and Studio Vedet, Alcova operates a network of exhibition spaces for artists to show their work. But Milan’s art crowd can venture beyond the usual gallery and museum spaces to visit these shows. Instead, Alcova activates “forgotten locations of historical significance” in and around Milan.
Have you tried Italian fruit cake? For Fuorisalone 2019, Milan’s Design Week that’s held every April, Alcova occupied two unconventional sites. The first was an abandoned panettone (Italian fruit cake) factory that was once owned by renowned Italian bakery, Giovanni Cova. The industrial space is now partly taken over by plants and vegetation, serving as a truly unique location for the contemporary art installations, screenings, and talks that were held there. A perfectly preserved cashmere factory from the 1930s showcased similar work as Alscova’s second chosen location.
Over 40,000 people visited the 2018 installment of Alcova’s Fuorisalone exhibition, and if the quality of their website is any testament to that of their exhibitions, we can see why. Every aspect of Alcova.xyz is aesthetically appealing and expertly designed for usability and functionality. The full-screen Fuorisalone graphic drifting across the homepage draws you in instantly, interrupted only by the uniquely placed vertical navigation along the left of the screen.
The most important pages are placed towards the top–Venues, People, and About–but our personal favorite is Images. The page leads you to a screen-filling slideshow of the April event photographs, and the left navigation is now joined only by the other pertinent information: photographer name, photo number, and a close button that takes you back to the homepage.
You can subscribe to the Alcova newsletter to stay updated on their future exhibitions, or email them at [email protected] for more information. Thinking about branding your business on a memorable .xyz domain? Secure it today!