A single architectural element solves the spatial, organizational and functional needs of a small two-room apartment with a Milanese spirit. Austere and evocative, the project, which finds its stylistic signature in the archetypal cusp shape and its inspiration in the concept of threshold, was developed by AACM, a young Paduan architectural firm

One only simple volume, a simple design gesture. The new grafted onto the old: from an architectural element to a containing element.

From these premises simple but ingenious , the young AACM – Atelier Architettura Chinello Morandi studio based in Padua oversaw the renovation of a small Milanese apartment in the characteristic Navigli area. Small square meters (only 28) and limited budget, architects Nicolò Chinello and Rodolfo Morandi have experimented, conceiving a project that is as complex as it is minimal.

The two-room apartment, located in a typical Milanese railing building, has been redesigned as an intimate and welcoming refuge, optimizing the spaces and therefore the domestic functions. If Milan inspired the atmosphere, sober, soft but with bold shapes, the house stands out for the design solution developed.

The young designers have created a single element that fits into the existing architectural body, a single volume that contains the utility spaces and emphasizes the thresholds that delimit the rooms. A single element, the protagonist of the spaces, which divides the entrance, the living room, the bedroom and the bathroom, becoming a filter between public and private, between the house and the city.

The cusp shape, archetypical of Milan, emphasizes every threshold, giving rhythm to the passages between the rooms. The entrance, the hallway between bedroom and living room and the anteroom thus become moments of transition but also of containment, as well as tracing different degrees of separation between home and city. The result is a home that is as rigorous as it is muffled, as urban as it is timeless.

Like a piece of furniture that disappears into the walls, it becomes architecture: a single material envelope covered with resin in shades of an iridescent black makes the environments rigorous, collected and functional, creating gentle but vibrant reflections, in an evocative play of light and shadow.

The project is thus immersed in the spirit of Milan, interpreting an austere formal vision at the same time emphasizing the changes of scale, in a passage with a sacred aura of intimacy, between inside and outside, between private and public.