In architectural design, the role of outdoor spaces is becoming increasingly important. From the garden to the terrace, from the patio to the poolside area around a swimming pool, the designer must come to terms with a real environment to be defined first in its lines and shapes and then to be furnished. On the furnishings and accessories front, research and technological innovation make it possible to have new and increasingly high-performance materials capable of draining water and resisting UV rays and atmospheric agents without compromising performance and aesthetic characteristics. If the context is historical and original details want to coexist with the choice of modern elements in a balanced contrast, the designer must know how to interpret versatility and adaptability of furnishings and complements according to the possible uses with a view to continuous innovation of tradition.
Requalifying, renovating, re-interpreting
On the occasion of a renovation and technical-functional adaptation of a late Renaissance palace in Via Verdi, in the centre of Milan, the Beretta Associati architectural studio, in collaboration with the Sovrintendenza Archeologica, Belle Arti e Paesaggio, brought to light hidden architectural details: stone columns, arched openings and frescoed or wooden ceilings. The challenge was to carry out a redevelopment through a reinterpretation of the building's structural features, with the intention of rediscovering the original unified and scenographic breath of space.
Entering from Via Verdi, one is welcomed into a bright, double-height lobby overlooking an internal garden, where informal meetings can be organised in fine weather. The lobby leads to the two upper floors where meeting rooms, a conference room for a total of ninety seats with a spacious foyer, offices, related services and a fully equipped kitchen have been created.
Enhancing the environments
The furnishings were designed to enhance the importance of the architectural surroundings, favouring an absence of decoration and a solid, minimalist design recalling an almost monastic simplicity. The materials are important, as strong as the architectural imprint: burnished iron, black colour, walnut wood and glass surfaces to allow the free flow of natural light, the permeability of which was a central theme. Even the furnishings of the outdoor spaces, the garden annexed to the ground floor unit and the terrace, where Unopiù's outdoor proposals are the protagonists, reflect the choices made for the interior and the need to reproduce the same elegance and simplicity.
Essential and rigorous design
The architects of Beretta Associati chose Unopiù's Toscana and Experience collections for their essential and rigorous design and classic style, in line with the atmosphere of the project: a modern environment created from a historic building. The Toscana collection, an icon of craftsmanship in powder-coated galvanised iron, picks up on the material used in the window and balustrade of the outdoor area and with its slim, geometric volumes harmonises with the surrounding space. The light and slender design of Experience, a furniture proposal that combines graphite-coloured aluminium with the hand-woven WaProLace® synthetic fibre in the antique brown shade, is confirmed as the ideal choice for its formal cleanliness and elegance.
Photo: Andrea Martiradonna