An empty house where there is everything. IT IS the expression that represents the best minimalism when it comes to residential projects. In this 180 m2 loft with terrace space also has to do with feeling of openness and brightness. The keywords are essential and nothing superfluous. “We came from a very crowded house and we wanted an opposite one, with expanded spaces in the continuity between the interior and the exterior through the glass wall that overlooks the terrace-garden”, explains the pair of architects. Valentina Morandi and Matteo Vischioni from the Milanese study Italian constructions, who lives there with her two children.
The space, divided into two levels, with the sleeping area on the top, is located on the first floor of a building built from scratch in a project by the two architects. It is a somewhat ambiguous brick building, not so certainly of a residential character but that is aligned with the industrial typology of the area outside the typical Milanese urbanization of what is defined as NoLo (North of Loreto), an old popular neighborhood in expansion loved by creatives. with Parque Martesana to the east along the canal. There is tradition but kept sober, sober, as in the common areas, essential and elegant in which the the references go to the houses with railing but also there solemn buildings with large openings by Giovanni Muzio, a great interpreter of the Milanese rationalist architecture of the 40s, to whom some emblematic places of the city are owed such as the Palazzo della Triennale and the Arengario in Piazza Duomo (designed together with Portaluppi, Magistretti and Griffini).
The loft typology lends itself to a practical but unconventional life., in the common imaginary more suitable for a single person than for a family of four, but in this case the architectural project has an unusual genesis in its entirety. “Let’s start by framing the situation – says Vischioni: we are a group of six friends who decided to buy land and build a building with housing units that also had common spaces as a corollary – playroom for the kids and a pseudo club house for us adults where you can also work“. A kind of coexistence of the occupants of the 14 units in which there are up to 22 children.
The architects were forced to immediately take possession of the spaces in their house, completed shortly before the first closure, in December 2019: “We went in, fixed up and they locked us up,” they say. The kitchen with six meter high ceilings and the central island, “a bit cathedral”, maintains the domestic dimension. It lends itself to conviviality and a joyful welcome to guests. – family and friends, around the counter. The graphic staircase, which becomes a beautiful presence in the space, connects the two levels with the Upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms resolved in a decidedly minimalist way: for the bed, a simple made-to-order iron-framed futon, an antique dresser, and stacks of books is all the owners need, with the cabinets arranged in the hallway for more lighten the rooms.
The furniture points to an unplanned variety: «We like to put pieces together even in contrast. They are family legacies or, simply, things that we like “, like the ancient Chinese furniture from the 19th century that dominates the dining room in that decoration trend that tends to casually juxtapose, overlapping furniture that comes from other houses, bought on a specific occasion or in impulse. There is a fault in this house, admits Valentina: “Nobody invites us anymore, they all want to come here.”. It does not matter, there is room: in the future the common area of the condominium will be completed by a bar and library area to share books. There were also pre-pandemic fans. scopone tournaments which, the architects guarantee, will resume as soon as possible.
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