Monar Antwerpen
c [ak'sent] interieur architecten

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Smart and trend-setting design in Antwerp shoe shop

The shoe shop Monar in the center of Antwerp (Belgium) called upon the interior design firm c [aksent] once again following a successful previous renovation. Interior designer Nancy Cool explains that the shop was in need of a new look. To achieve that, the floors and walls were clad in Mosa tiles.


‘The previous renovation was more than seven years ago, and it was high time for a new look and feel,’ begins Nancy Cool from c [aksent]. ‘The people at Monar collated their ideas in a mood board. I'm pretty strong-willed, so I set to work with their ideas and ultimately ended up doing my own thing with them. I'm glad I was able to convince them of the added value of this new direction.’




More volume and a flexible seating area

One of the client's most important requirements was a greater volume in the sales area. This put considerable pressure on the interior designer. She faced the challenge of creating more storage space despite the fact that there was no space available for this. After all, the shop space could not be made smaller. ‘We resolved this by creating a hanging volume along the walls,’ explains Cool. ‘This is filled with shoes. In the shop area, we provided modular seating areas. This allows a flexible use of the space. The shop window displays have been turned to face inwards. There's a small-scale “teaser” on the outside to tempt shoppers to come in.’

A ‘warm’ floor

The mood board produced by the Monar employees made it clear that they had a preference for parquet as the flooring. ‘But I really didn't like that idea’, says Cool. ‘A parquet floor in a busy shop with benches that can be slid over the floor is just asking for problems. On the other hand, the fact that the client wanted a “warm” feel with long strips gave me an idea, and I discovered the ceramic tiles by Mosa. They're not only beautiful but also very hard-wearing.’



"I once had the good fortune to view the production process at Mosa. I was immediately fascinated by the passion for the craft."





"The fact that the client wanted a “warm” feel with long strips gave me an idea, and I discovered the ceramic tiles by Mosa."


Impressive piece of work
‘We used three different color shades for the floor and wall design, and three different tile formats. We didn't use a standard module. Instead, we laid the entire floor ourselves,’ says Cool. ‘The floors and walls were relatively quick to install as all the tiles were numbered. Installing them was quite a task in the end, but the result is an impressive piece of work.’
Ceramics are beautiful, but...

Mosa tiles were therefore used in the Monar renovation. However, Nancy Cool is more of a fan of natural stone. ‘Wherever possible, I would always prefer to work with natural stone. It's "real” and unique as a material. However, if a specific situation demands it, as the low-maintenance requirement in this case did, I do also use ceramics as an alternative... but only if the ceramic tiles are beautiful enough. I don't want any imitation stone or wood structure. If you opt for ceramic tiles, you opt for the specific properties and beauty of tiles and not for a copy of something else that can never rival the real thing.’




The philosophy has a great appeal

Besides the aesthetic and quality-related properties of the tiles, there was another reason why Nancy Cool decided to use Mosa tiles. ‘I once had the good fortune to view the production process at Mosa. I was immediately fascinated by the passion for the craft, both of the designers and of the people on the factory floor. The philosophy, environmentally-conscious working methods, and the attention devoted to the Cradle to Cradle approach really appealed to me. The fact that the tiles are produced in the Netherlands and that transport could therefore be kept to a minimum was also something I considered very important.’

Project details
Project: Monar
Architect: c [ak'sent] interieur architecten
Location: Antwerpen (Belgium)
Surface area: 550 m2
Completion: 2012
Mosa series: Core Collection Terra
More information

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