Auralis Space, a house for light in Milan

The new space for the Penta, Castaldi and Arredoluce collections is in a 1930s setting, with a deliberately rough interior. And a designer detail recovered with respect and put to good use

Auralis Space, Milano
Auralis Space, Milano

Auralis, the first industrial group entirely focused on lighting comprising the companies Penta, Castaldi and Arredoluce, has a new home in Milan. Auralis Space is on the very central Via San Damiano, in the heart of the lighting retail district. A space on two levels created by the studio Migliore+Servetto, where history and contemporary style meet to generate design culture. An environment of dialogue and experimentation for architects, lighting designers and interior designers.

The setting is an elegant building from the 1930s, with four arched windows facing outward. Inside, the space has been left intentionally bare, almost unfinished: exposed bricks and conduits, rugged ceilings.

Everything is unified by the color white, becoming almost disembodied, a neutral backdrop against which certain elements stand out: large dark mirror disks on the ceiling multiply the volume and provide support for suspension lamps; two forcefully vertical LED walls, arranged on two perfectly corresponding planes, create a strip of light and images. Above all, the staircase, entirely in red, becomes a vivid graphic sign.

Traces remained here of works done in the past by Alessandro Mendini, which Migliore+Servetto have conserved and enhanced: the railing of the staircase, with its inimitable design, and colored flooring.

“The project emerged during the worksite phase, after having discovered the interventions made nearly10 years ago by Mendini,” say the architects Mara Servetto and Ico Migliore. “We began with the theme of crossings, with the objective of bringing to light certain historical and cultural elements, displaying Mendini’s creations and mixing them with technological features and new materials to create a unique, extraordinary setting.”

Auralis Space now hosts the group’s three brands: Penta (contemporary design), Castaldi (technical-architectural systems for outdoor use), Arredoluce (reissues of items by great masters like Gio Ponti, Castiglioni and Angelo Lelii).

“History and creativity, design and technology intertwine in the Auralis Space,” says Andrea Citterio, CEO of Auralis. “The aim is to narrate, through the collections of our companies, the slogan ‘Limitless Lighting,’ which expresses the desire of Auralis to act as a trailblazer in the reformulation of the lighting industry. At the same time, the company becomes a leader in the culture of light, seen as a tool to improve people’s quality of life.”

All images © Marco Piraccini