A renovation of a 55m2 apartment in a 1927 villa in Milan. An open space solution where living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom share a unique continuous space. A clean-looking interior where painted white surfaces contrast with wooden ones, warming up the environment.
The apartment is situated just a 15 minutes walk from Milan's cathedral (Italy) in a 1927 villa.
Prior to renovation, it was an uninhabitable attic with no windows, no heating, poor insulation and only one wall dividing the access corridor from the dark and dusty storage space.
The project began by tearing down the unique interior wall and opening skylights in the roof. Due to the zone regulations, the shape and the original wooden structure of the roof remained the same as in the '30. As a result the designing process had to deal with an irregular and strong presence of the original wooden beams and a number of zones that are less than 150 cm high.
The organisation of the 55m2 apartment headed immediately to an open space solution where living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom share a unique continuous space (only the bathroom is separated).
We imagined the open-plan kitchen and the dining table as the heart of the house, letting the home's life flow freely around it.
We let the past become part of the designing process highlighting the position of the only original wall of the house with a change of floor material and organising functions and furniture around this line. A 6 m oak beam, which in the '30ies helped sustain the only existing wall, never left the house and it was converted in a low shelf along the main wall.
To create a clean-looking interior, the walls, wooden beams and furniture were painted white. Oak surfaces warm up the environment contrasting with this clean envelope.
Past features relive in an opposites game through to the bathroom which is beyond the main wall of the villa and is treated by leaving part of the walls with exposed plaster.
Many items and nearly the all furniture (including concrete and paper lamps) were designed especially for the apartment.
The design tried to take advantage of the low and high spaces around the perimeter, using it for storage and technical installations.
The renovation was sustainability oriented: heating is provided by a heating pump assisted by solar thermical panels on the roof giving free hot water for half of the year. Additional insulation of 18cm was used to improve the apartment energetic winter performance.