The new connotations of a Mid-Century apartment (with a view) tell of interconnected and fluid spaces, and of a completely renovated living compared to the pre-existing 1950s structure

In Milan, a few steps from the Duomo, the Quarta & Armando intervened on spaces typically used for living in the fifties, to obtain new environments in accordance with contemporary lifestyle habits.

The renovation work involved the entire 200 m2 apartment, in an exercise not only in style but also, above all, in flexibility and function.

The apartment, as in its origins, told of a rather rigid domestic routine, divided into two distinct areas: a first reserved for service matters, and one dedicated to moments of representation.

A clear subdivision, which did not adapt to the needs of the new, large and dynamic family to which the rooms were to be destined.

The intervention focused, in general throughout the house, on a more fluid circulation that would make home life continuous (and luminous): a variation made possible, in the living area, thanks to the strategic use of large sliding marble partitions which, like retractable walls, reveal or obscure, if necessary, some areas of the living space.

Also in line with this 'modular' approach, even the previous large but hardly usable entrance was equipped with capacious retractable wardrobes, so that it opened onto the living room and that one could also obtain a small study corner.

The kitchen, which in some moments takes part in the daily fluidity while in others (such as when the property receives guests at home) becomes a place of privacy, appears and disappears at choice and according to the arrangement of the marble walls . It has also been equipped with a large island entirely covered in marble. A choice aimed at maximizing the spectacular view of the city.

In addition to being connected to the living room, the kitchen also opens onto a hallway-laundry room, which in turn leads to a guest bathroom and a practical ironing room-multipurpose room. Always underlining the interaction between environments.

What differences between living styles have required the greatest reinterpretation effort?

"We had to consider different actors in this project, each with their age, habits and profession (the parents, the children, the service person, the guests…) and each of them we paid particular attention.

Starting from this consideration, the living area has become the protagonist of the intervention, since it is where all these realities intersect, and has undoubtedly required the greatest interpretative commitment from the point of view of the flows before and of the choices of materials and furnishings then.

One of the major challenges in this sense was to minimize the use of the expedient of the corridors, which we considered a waste of space, and make sure that of distribution and activity intermingled".

In a resolutely contemporary interior design context, classic pieces with a remarkable character emerge. Why?

"The owners owned a series of family antiques that they were fond of but whose placement in the contemporary context of the intervention was not easy to imagine.

In approaching the project, we transformed the question into a starting point: going to design a space that responds to the contemporary and future needs of the family but which is also a stage for its history.

Thus antique pieces become POP and are inserted into the project like refined cameos that make an appearance here and there, becoming the protagonists of special walls and corners that frame them like a scenography.

How did you make the environments flexible?

"The entire living area, object of the intervention, has been redesigned to be flexible and adaptable to the various needs of its inhabitants.

The living room looks like a large living space, the heart of the home, designed to be enjoyed by the family at any time of the day. Opening onto it, with a fluid circulation but which allows each space to be isolated from the others if necessary, are the study, the kitchen, the service hallway with guest bathroom, the ironing room.

The kitchen/service area in particular has a very direct visual and functional connection with the living area but can be completely separated from the rest of the house with independent access from the outside via the secondary entrance into the hallway.

This flexibility has been one of the clients' main requests from the outset, desiring a space that could suit both a quick breakfast before going to work and a large representative event.

Precisely in this sense the kitchen becomes a fulcrum capable of changing the perception of the entire living area of the house.

How important are the materials in a reinterpretation of this type?

Materials are always fundamental for us and in this project they were a founding element.

Going to work in a mid-century context of great interest in the heart of Milan, a city that had a rich and successful architectural tradition in that period, the choice of materials was for us a tribute to that fortunate era and its protagonists.

Thus we see marble, wood, leather and heavily textured fabrics appear, glass: a subtle reference to the 50s and 60s never literal and always reinterpreted in a contemporary key.

Why did you opt for neutral tones?

"The apartment, located on the top floor of a 1950s tower, enjoys a broad view over the city of Milan. The city therefore becomes the protagonist of the architecture in the project and the entire project develops along the large windows that overlook the sky and the rooftops of Milan.

This is how the choice of neutral tones brings out the light that enters the windows on one side, and the panorama on the other, almost like a theater backdrop.

In addition, the choice of neutral tones for the interior design allows the owners to 'set up' the space continuously through touches of color in continuous mutation during the seasons and occasions and to make the classic furnishing elements, creating a harmony between the two.

Again, the theme of flexibility, also chromatic".