STUDIOTAMAT creates the store for the Sounds Familiar music label in Rome, Italy. The open space allows the store to be transformed into a listening room while the mobile furniture are easily assemblied and rearranged to host different needs. 

Ιn the heart of Trastevere in Rome, in an area less frequented than most by tourists, STUDIOTAMAT transforms an old garage into a new trendy hub for the capital’s vinyl lovers.

The opening of the store celebrates ten years of activity for Sounds Familiar, a music label founded in 2013 with the intention of building a community of artists and promoters with the same vision. Today, it has established a presence and following in the club culture and music circuit and as a clothing and accessories brand. Guiding the design, is the goal of expressing the personality and creative flair of the brand’s founder: 

“When Ornella Cicchetti contacted us for the project, we talked at lenght to understand exactly what she had in mind. The store had to reflect clubbing and the familiarity that distinguishes the brand; to be a space to display merchandising and design objects, but also a cozy and relaxed environment, inviting visitors to browse vinyls; a welcoming home for old friends, a reference point for enthusiasts and insiders, and at the same time be a pleasant stop for the curious passers-by. All in just 40 square meters!”
– explains Matteo Soddu, co-founder of STUDIOTAMAT.

Behind the solid walls of the former car shed, a false ceiling veils large wooden beams worn out by woodworm, brought to light by the Roman studio through a long process of cleaning and restoration.

The modest dimensions of the space did not allow for major masonry interventions, except for a new functional area dedicated to the storage of goods, hidden by a full-height curtain.

The architects have focused on an open and versatile layout, which allows the space to be transformed from a store into a listening room, from a meeting point to a stage, which can host a DJ set and performance. In a central position, the flexible structure of the counter, which houses the register serves as a hanger for sweaters and sweatshirts, transforms into a dressing room and becomes a console for live sessions.

Listening stations, shelving and disc racks lend themselves to different space configurations. The integrated and mobile furnishings are designed to be easily assembled and positioned according to the different needs.

The vinyl cubes, for example, arranged one above the other, can be placed next to the console; the seat — a perforated sheet metal bench 45 cm high like the cubes —can be positioned near the vinyl racks or in front of the console, which measures double its height, in a harmonious game of proportions and possibilities.

Uniform from a chromatic and structural perspective, to bring homogeneity to the space, all the furnishing elements are made with an iron structure and powder-coloured in lobster shade.

The bold color palette, which mixes bright and enveloping colors with colder tones, such as the indigo of the walls, is accompanied by the skillful mix of textures and finishes.

No detail is accidental: from the contrast between the elegance of the metal elements and the rough texture of the wood of the ceiling beams and certain accessories, to the floor, with the softness of the compact and semi-glossy texture of the purple carpet, evoking ‘70s vibes, and the double-thickness chenille curtain in high quality polypropylene fibers, which acts as a huge theatrical backdrop for the console. Partially echoing the tone of the plastered walls, it texturally intersperses ice-colored fringes.

The store also offers a wide selection of accessories, publications and design objects — everything that revolves around the world of club culture, from musical genre-inspired mugs to lamps celebrating the iconic smiley of the acid house period, from mats in plant-based leather made specifically for Sounds Familiar to vinyl cleaning accessories.

“I would like it to become a meeting place for those who share our love for music, for those who want to learn more and have time to wile away and get lost, listening to our musical selections” — concludes Ornella Cicchetti, the brand’s founder.

A vibrant calendar includes special events and collaborations with emerging and established DJs such as Sadar Bahar Volcov Kamma & Masalo Carista GE-OLOGY, as well as with visual artists like James Lacey aka Pointless Illustrations, who signed a collection of clothes for the brand. All are devoted to enriching the cultural offer of the Sounds Familiar Store, the new gravitational center designed and entirely dedicated to music, created by STUDIOTAMAT.

Facts & Credits
Title Sounds Familiar Store
Typology Architecture, Interior
Via di San Francesco a Ripa 5 (Rome, Italy)
Area 40 m2
Status Completed, 2023
Architecture STUDIOTAMAT (
Tommaso Amato, Matteo Soddu and Valentina Paiola)
Project Team Silvia D’Alessandro, Matteo Subiaco, Alice Patrizi
Photography Seven H. Zhang
Text by the authors