Architect: Davide Cerini, SDC − Milano
Typology: private residence
In the historical centre of the city that was for centuries the seat of the Gonzaga Duchy, a seventeenth century palazzo with adjoining garden has been completely restored to accommodate a family. The sensitive restoration project by architect Davide Cerini, project manager of Lissoni Associati in Milan, took a very long time to complete, mostly due to the difficulty in obtaining permits from the Authorities.
The project immediately ran into double trouble: on the one hand it was necessary to preserve the characteristics of a historic property of great artistic value and on the other the building needed to be adapted to the pace and style of contemporary life. These constraints led to a painstaking design project and some unusual solutions.
The house is on three levels, from the living room- gym to the attic used as a sleeping area, with the first floor housing a large living room and kitchen. A white metal staircase carries you upstairs, accompanied along the way by a thread of light running up the bannister. This impressive mass has the evocative strength of a sculpture, successfully installed among the frescoes and antique decorations. The overall design makes ample use of contemporary architectural elements, even in the bathrooms. Here, the concrete pigmented paste used for finishing the walls gives the space materiality and fits perfectly in with the plasticity of the thick ancient walls. Significant also are the solutions adopted to illuminate the centre of the house, and especially the many bathrooms, all furnished with Agape products.
In one of these, the Ottocento Cristalplant® biobased bathtub, designed by Benedini Associati, is illuminated directly from above by light that filters through the new single frame fixtures, giving the project one of its most beautiful details. Completing the room are the Flat XL programme, Memory taps, Nudo mirror and Surf accessory. In another bathroom, the richness of the frescoes contrasts with the sober linearity of the Flat XL composition in teak, with Cube washbasin accompanied by Fez taps, Nudo mirror and Sen accessories.
photography: Max Zambelli