The classic style of an apartment with a garden on the Navigli

“Creating beautiful things, that’s all”, was the declared creed of the American master Philip Johnson (1906 – 2005), the very first Pritzker prize for architecture in 1979. A bit of the same principle followed by Massimo Will because of this 230 sqm apartment in Milandesigned in detail to go beyond fashion.

“I searched for the timeless concept in the balance between the contemporary and the elements of the past », he says, for this two-storey architecture house in the center of the Milanese Navigli area, in a place away from the chaos of entertainment venues.

The idea was to have a very open house, overlooking the garden, a green square limited in size but well cared for. A fairly unusual urban luxury, designed jointly with the owners, a professional couple with a child who arrived right after moving into this house.

Photo Andrea Martiradonna



The staircase in the center is “a little suspended bridge, a little game”: made of oak wood and green and pink Cipollino marble, it enhances the double height volume of the living area, a portion of the house which, originally, was not even intended for residential use but perhaps was occupied by a gym. The gallery becomes the library area with the suspended bookcase-boxes, and the stylistic references refer directly to the episodes of the masters, such as the articulated living room on several levels of the Villa Müller by Adolf Loos or, again, those aristocratic interiors of Gio Ponti. The service elements are all retractable: large integrated wardrobes and the color of the walls, hidden closets to enhance the furnishings and paintings that are the passion of the hosts.

Photo Andrea Martiradonna

It is a house with a rarefied and soft atmosphere. A refuge in the city, welcoming, with a certain formality but made to receive, and for this reason very restful neutral colors have been chosen. Master this unusual shade of green throughout the living area. Halfway between sage and mint, which becomes darker in the kitchen, a defined environment “A small elegant technological laboratory” by 20 mq, without table, dedicated only to food preparation. The rooms, on the other hand, are one beige and one pink; the bathrooms a technical gray.

Photo Andrea Martiradonna

The palette is enriched with more artistic choices with some areas of the house decorated by a scenographer of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan: like the ramage mural in the think room on the upper floor, a place dedicated to writing and working; a painted bird is always hidden in all the rooms, chosen as a symbol of freedom and travel and a small constant poetic côté that represents “the positive spirit that should have been in the whole house”.

To complete it all, the recurring brass finishes, the series of lamps for the most part customized, and the furnishings, including the handcrafted chiavarine chairs made to choose by customers, the chairs by Ico Parisi or the dining table by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez: “iconic pieces, but not so much, which could also go unnoticed ”, concludes Volonté.


Milanese style in the manner of the masters in an apartment renovated by the Marcante-Testa studio

The apartment that combines Milanese bourgeois style with a sophisticated London atmosphere

The history of Villa Planchard, Gio Ponti’s 1950s masterpiece


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Source: Living by

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