“An aspect of contemporary culture, derived from the immediate and continuous emotional exchange between millions of people throughout the world, is the search for an end to the hostile relationship between men and nature. We have an unconscious desire to experience marvels, feel pleasure, to live in a regenerated environment, an environment that also reinvigorates us. This is a common reaction to modern urban life, living in cities that are always growing larger, hotter, more crowded, and more homogeneous: an emotion derived from our perceived imbalance in the relationship between living space and nature. Why then not allow the space to talk, permitting nature, with its fragile equilibrium, to take back the urban environment? Our belief is that in a world where man has taken possession of nature, the process can be inverted and nature can return to manifest itself across the base elements with large green walls, waterfalls, and with fire. This is the reference point for the new Replay concept”. Roberto Baccioni e Simona Bianchi.
In a traditional store, usually there is no connection with the natural environment and instead they often contrast sharply. There is no light or shadow, you don’t perceive hot or cold and instead there is a constant ambient temperature and overexposed lighting. This environment principally lacks diversity. In the context of a store, the environmental conditioning is usually unsustainable. For this reason, its likely that some store concepts will not be realised due to the restrictions of European energy consumption regulations. Normally the traditional solution leads to high energy consumption and a lot of factors are at fault. However, some of these factors can be selectively resolved to obtain a double benefit, both economic and social. The approach to the problem, technically and emotionally, has begun to develop in different ways. There are now systems available that deliver a lower thermal impact. Thinking again about the lighting and considering the different behaviours of these systems, we are able to arrive at a reduction of the heating, cooling and ventilation costs, while maintaining an extremely pleasurable environment. Thanks to the elimination of such overheating, at the Replay flagship store in Florence we installed a system of ceiling fans spread throughout the store instead of the usual air conditioning systems, which is capable of circulating large air masses. This traditional yet efficient method of air recirculation was combined with a system managed by computer. Meanwhile, the underfloor heating system was powered by a ground source heat pump, unique in its design, which serves to increasethe natural thermal inertia of the system. The idea of introducing natural elements with a strong impact, both emotive and perceptive, is born from the knowledge that human perception is linked to the other senses that are also able to stimulate sensations of hot and cold. Therefore, in response to these ideas, in the stores you will find vertical gardens, fireplaces, walls of constantly moving water, and tunnels with ceiling fans. They increase, in their elemental components of water, air, earth, fire, the sensation of hot and cold. These elements are sometimes visible and sometimes tactile and they recreate the typical relationships of the natural world.