Six — Milan, Italy
Behind a large doorway on via Scaldasole, just up the road from Milan’s port district of Darsena, Six is the brainchild of Mauro Orlandelli, head of bespoke interior design studio, Forest, who set out to create a ‘holistic container’ that was ‘superior to the sum of its parts’. For this, read ‘concept store’ and for Six, think three, for it is comprised of a gallery, a bistro – called Sixième, naturellement – and what is mystifyingly referred to as a ‘green design boutique’ by Irene Cuzzaniti and which turns out to be a cross between a florists, a ‘conceptual backdrop’ and a shop.
To do so, Orlandelli turned to David Lopez Quincoces and Fanny Bauer Grung, head architects at Milan-based studio, Quincoces-Dragò & Partners (and which is now based in the building). In turn, they worked with that now apparently indispensable architectural accessory, an art director, to come up with the logo and name, as well as with two members of local ‘supergroup’, Nic Cester & The Milano Elettrica, creators of a cocktail bar in nearby Navigli, who here are responsible for the bistro.
Breathlessness aside, Six is a class act. Quincoces and Grung’s industrial, atmospheric approach to the interiors treats indoor and courtyard spaces – both open air and glass-roofed – as a series of spectacular rooms, transforming a space that in the 16th century was a monastery, into a contemporary cross between a museum and a apeakeasy.
While their vision flirts with the austere – think smoke-grey walls, exposed brick and concrete floors – it sets off the scattered design pieces, a mix of the famous and the anonymous, much of which is for sale, as well as Cuzzaniti’s lush swathes of greenery to such perfection, that the final, sophisticated result is far more seductive than its original inhabitants might appreciate.