From Milan to Paris, on a zigzag route through former monasteries and soaring skyscrapers, boutiques and hotels, apartments and single-family houses. In this issue we explore flexible, versatile spaces of life, erudite references and exceptional materials to bring out the specific characteristics of cities and localities. These projects investigate important themes, such as the relationship between luxury and minimalism, nature and artifice, the best of Made in Italy and outstanding local craftsmanship.
Books and archives, with their exceptional value, are the focus of a building that grows over time, designed by Steven Holl in the forest at Rhinebeck, New York. The theme of the archive returns in the critical reflections of Domitilla Dardi and Beppe Finessi, who analyze its meaning and creative potential for contemporary design culture. Margraf, the protagonist of our cover story, narrates the wonders of marble and a complex engineering challenge in Akka, Israel, where a temple is being built dedicated to the religious leader 'Abdu'l-Bahá, designed by the Iranian-Canadian architect Hossein Amanat. This project underlines the way materials have become the absolute protagonists of architecture and design: just consider our coverage of products and surfaces in marble and concrete, paired in a creative dialogue that emphasizes lightness and haute couture workmanship. Or the article on the new outdoor furnishings, which combine nature, technological fibers and the work of artisans to produce comfort and durability.
Finally, we look at materials at their highest stage of evolution: they are the central focus of an exhibition organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an original viewpoint on Italian excellence in the field of industrial design and technological innovation. Demonstrating that Made in Italy is not just history and past, but also present and future.
Opening picture: view of the dining room inside the Penthouse, the most panoramic and exclusive space of the Bulgari Hotel Paris, 400 square meters inside and 600 outside, on two levels, with an accent on Made in Italy. A project by ACPV Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. (Photo courtesy Bulgari)