A private underground art space
(Image credit: attiliostocchi.it)

Completed late last year, the Bulbo Gallery in Milan is a private underground art space by Attilio Stocchi with Gino Guarnieri. Located in the client's back garden, the structure's multi-faceted form is deceptive; rather than exist as a spiky suburban intervention, it is actually buried out of sight, with only the upper portions of the seven light cones poking up above the ground.

Cinematic shafts of light rippling off the angled walls

(Image credit: attiliostocchi.it)

See more of the Bulbo Gallery

Armed with this knowledge, the multi-faceted interior walls is rather claustrophobic, dark and perverse, with cinematic shafts of light rippling off the angled walls. The apparently random form was derived from the constraints placed by the site – a tree root here, a water tank there, as well as existing foundations scattered around.

Faced with an unruly, awkward plan, Guarnieri and Stocchi simply continued to eat into the space with angles and twists. The result is a mysterious little monument to culture, a secular space with a sacred feel, in line with Stocchi's aim of creating a living, breathing atmosphere. 'In architecture, restraint is always a close friend,' the 44-year old architect says.


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).