Low budget, period details and creativity: five student apartments in Milan

The restructuring of five apartments intended for sharing among students a stone’s throw from the Politecnico di Milano it has been transformed from the very beginning into an exercise in intelligent design, demonstrating that a low budget project does not have to be trivial.

Pliny 11, which takes its name from the street in which it is located, was also the testing ground for a series of choices oriented towards reuse, recycling and sustainability. The types range from 75 to 100 square meters, with two or four rooms. There has been no demolition of the internal partitions and all the original elements of the building dated 1907 – frames, rosettes and stuccoes – have been kept as well as the elaborate marble and parquet floors.

“They were already in themselves like paintings”explains William Govoni, with Beatle Gietema directing the studio Newomnia who took care of the project. “We could have solved everything simply by adding vintage furniture but we looked for a more sophisticated solution in terms of creativity by creating an ad hoc collection of furniture”.

All made of birch marine plywood, the JUBB and JUBB PJ furniture from the Plinio11 Collection are simple and very resistant. The name is an accidental transcription error of that of the American artist Donald Judd, to whom they are admittedly inspired as well as the shapes of those made by Pierre Jeanneret for the Indian city of Chandigarh. A dozen pieces including seats, tables, desk and the sofa-daybed, which combined in pairs can become a double bed.

Photo Marco Dapino

“We have optimized all the elements but also the spaces, conceiving, for example, kitchens like sushi bars and creating a small lounge in the corridor so that there is one in the apartments extra area for socializing, which therefore does not remain strictly relegated to personal bedrooms ”, says Govoni.

The sober and fresh intervention introduced a unobtrusive palette of neutral colors, from whites to beiges, for the furniture and the stone episodes ranging from the lime-stuccoed travertine of the desk tops to the inserts of the furniture and decorative accessories made with Calacatta marble production scraps.

Even the decoration provided an opportunity for one creative momentum inspired by Arte Povera, actually a clever trick for the eye: the white frames on the walls in one of the living rooms are nothing more than the packaging of the refrigerators, the work above one of the beds is the cardboard envelope of a piece of furniture, crumpled and painted in white, and the totem of bricks and discarded stone discs acts as a pedestal for the “sculpture” in green colored polystyrene (find all in the gallery selection of images of the various units). Even the compositions of dried flowers have been designed from a functional point of view: “Practical and long-lasting, they do not need care like fresh ones”.

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Source: Living by living.corriere.it.

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