Exploring the Design Elements and History of a Milanese Home’s Cohesive Revitalization
PARENTESI.STUDIO designed Nepero to gently connect the first floor with the underground level by greatest definition of enhancing the spiral staircase. Using white screens this charming spiral staircase creates a subtle transition between the two floors. The goal of the designers was to keep faithful to the original context, proceeding with hints of design that pull the layers together into a cohesive piece. Built in the early 1950s by architects Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini and Gio Ponti, this residence in Milan, Italy, had seen additions and wear through its days.
Rejuvenation was easy on this natural beauty. Its origin became realized after the passing of Law 43 coined the new “Ina Casa” program which spanned from 1949-1963 to address concerns of post-war residential needs and to help the economy bounce back. Perhaps the most successful of these installations, the Ina Harar-Dessiè was envisioned as “horizontal skyscrapers.” Its architects disrupted the stagnant years between wars by inspiring “insulae” design that was like nothing Milan had ever seen, stirring the cityscape with 9 linear blocks of green space stretching 150-meters long, houses nestled in place beside it with a low profile.
Calming textures visually draw you from the turning staircase at the center to the furnishings and details beyond like rippled glass transoms. Custom furnishings and built in pieces permanently attach the theme to the residence experience. They merge walnut on the stairs into the couch frame, storage cabinets and interior room doors. Dusty blue open shelving and bumpy door panels continue storage with interest. Anchoring the living space, a generous window above the couch brings the garden outside to center stage. The functioning areas in a working kitchen and bathroom fixtures are sleek and minimalist.
Spotty, nonuniform patterns on the floors carousel a natural movement underfoot from room to room. High above a few wall tops are eliminated, affecting the overall atmosphere in the travel of light and sound. A feeling attained by openness, such purposeful design draws your attention up to enjoy playful free frames that hang from the ceiling and reach to the next wall. Photography © Marcello Mariana.