Contractor: Restauri Ancona
Text description provided by the architects. The apartment, located in the attic of an old residential building in Milan, was originally a small, compartmentalised, dark space. The project was designed in order to expand the interior space and change its perception by reshaping the existing geometry and increasing the amount of natural light. The layout of the apartment is based on a cruciform plan with four distinguished areas - kitchen, bathroom, living and working spaces, all gathered around the central element – the stainless steel column. The bedroom is located on the mezzanine floor, forming the unique geometrical block with the bathroom underneath.
Vertical connection is provided by the semi-cylindrical stairs, composed of three simple elements: natural marble (featured in the first two independent steps), steel (the middle part of the stairs), and, finally, wood (the last two steps introducing the bedroom). The curved shape of the stairs creates vivid contrast with regard to the rigid geometry of the apartment, and it is supported by a light tubular element proportionally designed to emphasise the continuity of the interior space.
Due to the size of the apartment, the build-in furniture is designed along the perimeter in order to, on one hand, leave as much free space as possible, and on the other, to provide the spatial continuity between different areas. The choice of materials is very neutral with the aim to highlight the irregular geometry of the apartment. Hence the main materials featured in this concept include the rough white plaster on the walls and ceiling, the oak flooring, and the light wooden furniture.
The same materials constitute other existing surfaces of different kinds in order to provide the visual integrity: the oak counter top in the bathroom is made of flooring, and, similarly, the sliding door has been manufactured from the same type of wood used for the furniture. The edges of the four partition walls are covered with stainless steel panels, thus emphasising the central column – the core element of the plan.
The bathroom is a clean, white room covered in square tiles with blue grout, which creates, colour-wise, a visual connection to the tubular frame structure of the stairs. An additional feature of the bathroom block is the ventilation pipe located on the mezzanine floor, made in aluminum, underlining its presence. The two enlarged skylight windows invite plenty of light into the apartment creating the luminous atmosphere and expanding the volume of the interior space.