Nolita - A home for Flâneurs
"The house creaks at that hour, stone, wood yawns. Then it goes silent with the scent of coffee. A mocha on the fire is enough to fill a room"
Erri De Luca, Tre Cavalli, 2013
Nestled in the heart of NoLo, a new creative design district of Milan, Nolita is a roomy guest house apartment located in a twentieth century building with vintage ceiling details and original Deco floor tiles. A long central corridor acts as the main artery of the home from which, 2 bathrooms, a communal kitchen and 5 bedrooms can be found, all lightly kissed by natural light.
The design approach aims to use the existing narrative of the apartment to inform light interventions, achieving a series of spaces which reflect their own atmosphere while still in communication with each other. These interventions range from the careful choice of colour used to frame the rooms; to the selection of a number of custom designed furniture pieces; and the romantic choice of cutlery and crockery. This subtle yet meaningful attention to detail aims to show a tasteful architecture of common sense which, until now, has been trapped behind closed shutters.
Throughout the apartment, the existing floor tiles are referenced in order to narrate the atmosphere of the rooms and to influence the colour palette for each room. The decision to paint the lower half of the walls while leaving the upper part white aims to show the relationship with the existing floor while allowing natural light to reflect off the walls and ceiling. This serves as a memory of when the shutters were reopened after many years - light and colour - a gesture which is repeated every morning.
The apartment is sprinkled with a number of bespoke furniture elements, which aim to make for a comfortable stay for guests. As is the case with many Italian homes, the kitchen acts as the heart of the home, in this case providing a space for gathering and storytelling.
The kitchen is a unique element built of pink concrete with white Carrara marble. This bespoke design piece is handmade in one single attempt and its curves allude to the past, a functional necessity, while communicating with the two oblò windows above.
Typology: Guest House
Place: Milan, Italy
Architectural Design: ATOMAA, Studio Asabesi
Design Team: Umberto Maj, Eleonora Salsa, Samantha Furlotti, Simone Marusi
Colour Consultant: Marta Lavinia Carboni
Photography: Sara Magni
General contractor: ASDM di Erriu Antonio
Carpenter: Donghi Arredi, Projet Metal
Bespoke Concrete Furniture: Caldara Giambattista