INTERNI. The Magazine of Interiors and Contemporary Design

In the manner of Gio Ponti. A home in Miami as a tribute by the de­signer-client to the master of Milanese modernity (1897-1979), first of all, and to Italian design in the 1950s and 1960s.

“Those are my great passions,” says Luca Andrisani, born in 1973 in Italy (Matera), who took an architecture degree in Rome and then gained experience in the studio of Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, after which he moved to New York eleven years ago, to work with Peter Marino, and opened his own practice. His third passion is Miami, its blue sky and year-round sunshine: a buen retiro, which thanks to low-cost flights can be visited at least once a month.

“It has become a culturally stimulating place, especially in recent years, no longer just South Beach but also Art Basel, the contemporary art fair, together with Design Miami, the international design forum, where you meet collectors, curators, de­signers and critics from all over the world,” he explains.

Without con­straints, in the apartment of 100 sq meters, with a 20-meter terrace for a view of the ocean, in white with blue majolica tiles, Andrisani has drawn on all his sources of inspiration, putting great care into the details, to create a truly Mediterranean home, incorporating colors and the tones of the landscape. And, above all, a decor spirit in tune with the pure, essential lines of MiMo (Miami Modern), thriving on the tension between modernity and classicism, the matrices of his Ital­ian background.

“I had to come to terms,” he says, “with a rigid layout: two bedrooms closed on all sides, and a small living area at the center; obligatory volumes, though they are inside Oceanside Plaza, a build­ing from 1967 (on Millionaire’s Row), designed by Morris Lapidus in his well-known theatrical style with curved lines and rounded forms, epitomized by the Fontainebleau Hotel and, here, by the spaces of the lobby.”

After the renovation, the place had completely changed: maxi­mum openness, walls that border spaces without enclosing them, in pursuit of constant dialogue with the facade of large windows facing the sea.

An apartment for fluid, flexible use, thanks to two large slid­ing doors that replace the existing partitions, creating a sort of white boiserie that unifies and adds rhythm to the compositional layout: on one side, the bedroom and a studio zone; at the center the hinge of the living-dining area, in direct communication with the entrance, with a kitchen zone to the side; and then the master suite, with its own bath­room.

The materic-chromatic choices convey the narrative efficacy of the two-tone spaces that remind us of Ponti (and specifically the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, built in 1964), reinterpreted with a pat­tern in white, light blue and dark blue, in the textile covers of the fur­niture, the drapes, the objects; and above all in the floor, the leitmotif that visually connects all the spaces and the terrace, in a unified resi­dential dimension aimed at achieving indoor-outdoor fusion.

Andri­sani has selected hand-painted ceramic bricks, with a decorative de­sign by Gio Ponti, produced by the Italian company La Riggiola, which in the master bath also become a backdrop for the consoles of the washstands: graphic-abstract geometries that give rise to op-effect ‘carpets’ and vibrant, mutable surfaces, in relation to phenomena of light and shadow.

Ponti commented on his work on the Amalfi coast as follows: “I always think about the infinite possibilities of art: give someone a square, 20 x 20, and though people have tried everything over the centuries, with infinite designs, there is always room for a new design, your design. The last design will never happen…”

The ‘de­sign’ of Andrisani grasps this programmatic synthesis of art, design and architecture. In his own way, of course. His very personal reper­toire of classic and modern figures includes vintage furnishings and objects from the 1950s and 1960s, purchased at auctions; a few, light furnishings, armchairs and sofas, “lacking certification, but as an ama­teur antiquarian I would say they are by Gio Ponti.

In any case, they are definitely from that period, not remade today,” a cabinet by Os­valdo Borsani, accessories by Piero Fornasetti, glasses by Carlo Moretti, mirrors with frames from Murano, appliques and lamps by Barovier&Toso, Venini, Arteluce, ceramics from Caltagirone… all pres­ences that speak of a love of materials, craftsmanship, but also indus­try.

Near the lithograph by Cleon Peterson, standing out on one wall of the dining area, which documents the temporal dimension of the street art of Miami 2.0, these furnishings narrate epochs, historical moments and places, which under the same roof can breathe in the same playful, relaxing atmosphere.

photos by Emilio Collavino – text by Antonella Boisi


The terrace with a view of the ocean, clad in white with light and dark blue majolica tiles. Flooring in ceramics by La Riggiola, with decoration by Gio Ponti, is the leitmotif of the indoor and outdoor zones; Sixties chairs and table by Maurizio Tempestini for Salterini; fabrics by Brentano; on the wall, Murano glass applique from the 1960s.
In the living area, armchairs and sofas in the style of Gio Ponti, covered with Castel fabrics: 1960s piece by Archimede Seguso, accessories by Piero Fornasetti, drapes by Sahco.
In the dining area, chairs in the style of Vittorio Dassi and lithograph by Cleon Peterson. The bar cabinet is a 1960s piece by Aldo Tura.
Plan of the apartment.
View of the bedroom with studio zone. Furnishings from the 1960s: Murano glass applique, chair by Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi, table lamp by Barovier & Toso, bookend by Piero Fornasetti, lanterns from Restoration Hardware; to the left, foldaway bed by Clei.
View from the studio zone towards the central living area and the second bedroom, in the background. Desk in the style of Vittorio Dassi (1960 circa); in the room: Venetian chandelier in Murano glass, lamps by Arteluce (1960), lamp-sculpture by Eugenio Pattarino, lithographs by Massimo Vitali.
A cabinet designed by Osvaldo Borsani (in the 1960s) becomes the stage for a pair of lamps by Barovier & Toso (1960), glasses by Carlo Moretti (1960), a moor’s head in Sicilian pottery.
In the bathroom, ceramic flooring by La Riggiola with decoration by Gio Ponti also forms a wall backdrop for the washstands built into consoles from Restoration Hardware and Murano mirrors with 1950s frames.
In the entrance zone, applique by Venini (Sixties), mirror by Pierluigi Colli (Fifties), pocket emptier by Fornasetti, bench by James Mont (1950) with Pollack fabrics. Reflected in the mirror, in the kitchen, a tray by Alessi.