Interior Design: Ludovica Serafini + Roberto Palomba
Furniture: Driade, Elica, Flou, Kartell, Poltrone e Sofà, Zanotta
Photo: Carlo William Rossi + Fabio Mureddu
Spending time in another city implies temporary residence, which still requires cozy atmospheres combined with the desire for extraordinary experiences. This is the intuition of Davide Veneri, who has transformed a simple real estate investment in Milan into a unique, emotional place in which to regenerate, after the stress of travel, and to feel welcomed by a city that awaits your exploration. The result is the Ginger House, an elegant apartment from the 1930s with an area of 90 sqm, in the Porta Venezia district, interpreted in a surprising, innovative way by the architects Ludovica Serafini + Roberto Palomba.
A hospitality project with a totally new approach, combining intimate domestic space with an organizational structure similar to that of a 5-star hotel. The facility provides luxury services, including conciergerie, personal lifestyle consulting, dog-sitting, chauffeurs, all the way to private performances.
The unique break in the warm setting has been interpreted by Ludovica Serafini + Roberto Palomba in clearly unconventional way. Welcoming and functional, the interiors have been created to “surprise, to help you enjoy every moment, to bask in the instant and to dream,” Veneri says. The reminder of the essence of a certain Milanese character emerges in the refurbishing that preserves signs of the past, but inside a contemporary vision.
The historic part has been conserved through the use of wood and the color of the walls (taken from the original), and enlivened with the choice of two different colors for walls and ceilings, and the contrast of warm white and slightly cooler gray for the stuccowork. Earth tones dominate, not just on the walls but also on the fixtures, while mirror surfaces completely cover the kitchen counter and the glazing of two doors, evoking both tactile and visual sensations.
The most striking feature, perhaps, is the presence of works of art, so widespread as to merge with the architecture itself. The creative duo explain: “For us, architecture is the sum of the arts, because it encloses the place that embraces human beings in their lives.” Just past the entrance, a custom wall known as ‘Alpi,’ inspired by the Alps, advances in the space, becoming angular and drawing attention towards the video installation ‘Alano’ by Matthias Schnabel, commissioned for the Ginger House as a symbol of protection.
The luminous work ’41,’ with a length of 17 meters, made by the architects to brighten the entire living area and kitchen, makes reference to the spatial gestures of Lucio Fontana, inspired by a visit to the Museo del ‘900 in Milan. Even the visible heating pipes are interpreted by Fausto Caletti as if they were gilded cords, in a reference to the everyday materialized utilized in American Minimal Art. Caletti has also contributed ‘Carillon,’ a large wall tapestry that narrates a historical area of Milan, through machine-made embroidery: the former Varesine area, now part of the urban development of Porta Nuova.
All this is joined by a site-specific work by the artist Raffaele Barbuto, ‘Non sono io che amate, ma chi mi abita,’ like a large advertising billboard, colored and layered by the passage of time. To underline the fact that the traces left on inhabited space are the true essence of the place. Finally, installed on plexiglass, there is the small, refined ‘Ginger’ created by Carlo William Rossi + Fabio Mureddu, a work that lends its name to the project, a symbol of the house and its discreet yet omnipresent host.