Giò Ponti: is that you?

It’s unlikely we will uncover everything Giò Ponti designed and built during his prolific career. To his endless body of work, painstakingly catalogued by Giò Ponti Archives, we can probably add this mid century block of flats in central Milan, next door to the old interior design fair. And it’s because of this, we would like to take you inside one of his forgotten masterpieces. What’s more, the present owners have worked patiently to strip it back to its original splendour.

Wallpaper by Fornasetti decorate feature walls. Everything else is kept simple.

This family has “set up shop” in a historical part of Milan, very close to the old site for Milano Fiera. Here, iconic buildings come to life, casting long shadows on the entire neighbourhood. Because you can never forget where you’ve come from, our family decided to move back where it all started. And, they patiently waited for the right time, to buy up the neighbouring flats. Finally, they had enough space for their growing family and set out to remodel this space.

The large timber-framed dining table by Riva: a sentimental family piece.

Certainly, it was very important for this family to spend quality time together around a big table. And even if looking at this uncluttered space one would never have guessed it, cooking is a real passion for them. A secret storage compartment fitted behind the splash-back keeps everything tidy and hides electrical sockets, taps, pots and pans and other kitchen essentials. Artematica kitchen by Valcucine. Base units are 60 cm deep with an overlap of 20 cm.  It’s in the evenings, when this room comes to life.

Marble flooring in dark-green and white, revoking the colour of the ceiling. The corridor flooring is an original period detail of the fifities.

The corridor is an in-between space which in most designs tends to be forgotten and its décor is not usually as carefully planned as in the other rooms. However, this is not the case here. Flooring is made from dark-green and white tiles, inspired by the keys on a piano. This creates the illusion of a wider space. Arched doorways have been uncovered and restored. Wall-mounted brass lamps, an original Giò Ponti design, have been brought back into production by Pollice Illuminazione. This detail adds a clear retro touch

Next to the bookcase there is a quiet corner where one can read a book, drink a cup of coffee, sit or think. The furniture pays homage to Giò Ponti:  Superleggere chairs, designed in 1955 and produced by Cassina, Tulip table by Saarinen and Tolomeo lamp in black, a 2012 rendition.

Vintage writing desk and lamp. Here the corridor widens leading up to the bedrooms.
Icons in the living room: chaise longue by Le Corbusier and a timeless sofa by Piero Lissoni.
In the living room, a sofa-bed for any eventuality (Antonio Citterio for Flexform).

The interior design is a work of art. A definite sense of style is created by a few carefully chosen pieces. EX Libris, wallpaper by Forsanetti (1953), printed with leather bound books and inspired by the interior of a traditional library. This gives to the room a theatrical quality.  

Door hidden by the false bookcase.
A green sideboard by Established&Sons, revokes the colour of the ceiling.
In the kid's room, ninenteen fifties stripy wall-paper.

The large kid’s bedroom has a rounded partition wall next to the bow-window. This gives to each child his own private corner and made-to-measure furniture uses this space to great advantage. Wallpaper in a bold stripy pattern, perfect for a room which will keep growing with them.  

To each its own space in the kids‘ room, but the Lema bookcase is to be shared.
Boffi bathroom. Each detail in place, essential perfection.

Design project

Info: Refurbishment of a mid century apartment.
Location: Milan, Italy
Client: Private
Size: 120 mq ca.
Photos: Silvia Rivoltella
Interior design: Spotti Milano,

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