Apartment Renovation. Milan, Italy
Budget 80'000 €
The apartment is located in a 1960s apartment block in the centre of Lissone, Northern Italy. The extreme attention to detail throughout the apartment renovation, together with a carefully considered material selection, creates an accentuation of the natural light entering from outside to create a tranquil ambiance within.
Although the concept behind the original layout of the apartment was to a high standard and worked sufficiently as a functional living unit, it is difficult for occupants to impose their identity on a design that is created for the masses. In addition, there were many imperfections in the dimensions of the apartment due to carelessness during construction. The objective of the renovation was to create an apartment that was more suited to the needs of its occupants, creating a canvas from which they may develop as a family.
The redesign of the apartment interior revolved around two intertwining central themes: the influx of natural light, and the freedom of movement. For this purpose, the entire floor plan was redesigned to remove the conventional barriers between each of the rooms, whilst still maintaining their individual functions, to create an open and simplified living space full of conviviality. As a consequence of the renovation, it was also possible to correct the imprecisions that were plaguing the apartment.
Focusing on both light and freedom of movement throughout the redesign, as well as the interactions therein, a number of the interior walls were removed and replaced with a diagonal walkway that keeps both the concept of fluidity constant, whilst creating a meta-physical barrier between the rooms. The diagonal cross-section was built around the structural framework of the apartment, including a number of supporting pillars running vertically through the entire building, to give a sense of order and coherence within. This order and structural conformity is emphasised by the manner in which the walls have been carved into to create bookshelves, counters and cupboards, and relieve the flat from additional clutter. The floor-to-ceiling double doors also belong to this system, and when opened become part of the wall itself, again giving freedom to both movement and light.
The materials used throughout the renovation were selected to form a symbiosis of comfort, solidity, agelessness and modernity, whilst maintaining both functionality and personality. This is highlighted in particular by the duality of the handcrafted pieces of furniture and vintage ornaments dotted around the apartment, together with the concrete elements used within the kitchen. The concrete itself, whilst simultaneously both reflecting and enhancing the natural light entering though the balcony doors, confers a solidity, but also emanates an almost natural expression through its imperfect, porous appearance.