Peek inside the home of any avid art collector, and one is likely to be struck not just by the sheer dynamism of the works on display but also how deftly they have been arranged to harmonise within a space.
That is certainly the case for this two-storey duplex nestled on an idyllic street in central Milan. Converted by Isacco Brioschi Architects into the home of a well-cultured couple as well as their impressive assemblage of paintings, sculptures and precious objects – a reflection of their wide-ranging collecting interests – the residence brims with a distinct flow and fluidity that invite the eye to wander from one curio to another. Scroll through the gallery below (Photography: Simone Furiosi; Production: Nikey Cheng) to find out more about this beautiful home: “Creating an elegant lightness of the structure and architecture was our base idea to accommodate so many valuable signs of design and art,” says Isacco Brioschi of the residence – boasting two 500sqft terraces and a contemporary attic – that he had originally planned to repaint and incorporate roof windows into. “But then a bond between the clients and myself emerged, probably related to my passion for art. This harmony led to the overall expansion of the project.” The 5,200 square feet duplex has seamlessly combined art, architecture and the homeowner's wide ranging collecting interests in a statement making abode. Known for his light and gentle architectural schemes, Isacco was inspired by the idea of lines when he envisioned a characterful haven for the family of two that all at once doubles as a gallery and a comfortable space to entertain guests.
Given the home’s sprawling interiors, it was all the more important to have a delineated visual structure that not only serves to anchor, but accentuate, the troves of treasures found within. “In this context, the line gives architecture a cognitive order,” says Isacco, likening it to the essential art frame. “It is a metaphor for a frame on a larger scale that rearranges and redesigns the space.”
As such, towering mirror doors lead from the entrance into the expansive lower floor where sinuous contours and linear accents are found interwoven throughout. A double living room, dining room, billiard room, kitchen and two bedrooms have been connected by two asymmetrical, linen-covered sliding doors that are crossed by geometric metals. This creates visual continuity with the abundant metal profile lines that have been built on-site into mirrors, doors, parts of walls and on the frame of the fireplace. “This makes the space harmonious and essential, transferring the order, strength and organisation of a path.” The home functions as the haven of a well-cultured couple as well as an art gallery and a place to entertain - spaces all connected by linen covered sliding doors. This streamlined structure proves to be just the perfect backdrop to house the homeowners' plethora of art including a painting by Sol Lewitt above the fireplace, sculptures by Fausto Melotti and Paolo Icaro, works by Enrico Castellani and Angela Glajcar, and “Sole”, an art installation by artist Daniel Buren who also worked on the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. A host of antiques and smaller collectables embellish corners and shelves against equally sculptural furnishings by the likes of Francesco Binfarè, Eero Saarinen, Lambert & Fills and Fernando & Humberto Campana. Given the home's sprawling interiors, Isacco has carefully crafted a delineated visual structure that serves to anchor and accentuate the treasure troves found within. Whether in the kitchen, master bedroom or entertaining nooks, natural light lifts and emphasizes the stunning creations and the sense of space.
The home's geometric finesse is encapsulated in a white metal spiral staircase designed by Isacco himself that connects the lower floor with the sky-roof covered attic, which houses an airy master ensuite with grid-like ceilings, walk-in closets and foliage-filled terraces intended for intimate family moments.
Still, the presence of art pervades, dotted across customised wall bookcases with red metallic threads and al fresco areas kitted with bespoke Corian furnishings. There sits a tall sculpture inspired by the origami that covers the chimney and a rusty iron sculpture by the artist Giuseppe Spagnulo.
Interlacing all of these visual elements and pockets of spaces together is a sense of organised cosiness that gives this space a true feeling of home, in which one can slow down to take in all of the delightful treasures. "My favourite feature is the brightness of the venue," concludes Isacco. "I also love the dining room, where you can have breakfast immersed in the works of Buren, the sculptures of Melotti and Icaro – perhaps while sipping on a Batàrd Montrachet."