Step inside this Milanese urban oasis
Inspired by the traditional cloisters of Milan, this modernist apartment building features smart green spaces throughout. We discover the penthouse, where minimal interiors are enriched with sophisticated materials
A historical Milanese location, formerly the home of a convent in the heart of the city and damaged during the war, the Courtyard is a residential complex by architecture firm DFA Partners. Inside, is a newly-completed penthouse apartment featuring some of Italy’s design excellencies.
‘I have asked myself many times what would be the fate of those abandoned structures in the city center,’ says architect Daniele Fiori. ‘What came almost automatically was the need to analyze the area from above.’ The architect observed that all around the building was a sequence of cloisters, which inspired him to create a new architecture ‘in tune with the character of Milan; namely entirely inside, very private, with the surprise of the courtyard and sufficient area to contain a large garden.’
The green space is a successful example of urban forestation, the architect explains, and the guiding factor of the project. Green rooftops, private patios and terraces interact with the building throughout, with the effect of reducing CO2 emissions and of acting as screen from the outside. Further features such as geothermal energy produced by ground water and built-in photovoltaic cells contribute to making the building smart.
The duplex penthouse’s interiors were designed by architect Massimiliano Camoletto for Visionnaire Art Director, Eleonore Cavalli, as a quintessentially Milanese apartment, with pure volumes enriched by the natural light flowing in from outside. The space showcases a selection of furniture from Visionnaire, and collaborations with other Italian excellencies such as Viabbizzuno, Alpi and Ernestomeda.
Custom-built elements, including a mirrored modular bookcase and a staircase in metal and wood, further enrich the living area. Sleek designs by Mauro Lipparini, Alessandro La Spada, as well as younger talent such as Zanellato and Bortotto and Sara Ricciardi coexist in the space, a rich succession of minimalist forms and sophisticated accessories and materials. The living area extends onto a custom designed ‘bioclimatic greenhouse’ by Pratic, featuring Mediterranean plants that further amplify the connection to nature inside this Milanese urban oasis. §