Quotes from the masters in an architect’s penthouse in Milan

Gino Guarnieri recovers the attic of an early 20th century Milanese building, seeking a new domesticity through a close dialogue between past and present, ideologies and technologies.

In the heart of a district created to house the emerging Milanese bourgeoisie at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, where the old Lazaret once stood, architect Gino Guarnieri chose to recover the attic of an eclectic neo-Romanesque building dating back to 1913 as a home and studio for himself and his family. Today the area is an institutional centre of the city undergoing major urban transformations as well as vibrant ethnic and cultural liveliness.  

via Settembrini 9, Gino Guarnieri, studioAmilano, Milan, 2020
via Settembrini 9, Gino Guarnieri, studioAmilano, Milan, 2020

An almost entirely double-pitched wooden structure transforms the terraced roof resulting from the demolition of the previous roof in just a few days.

The intervention, both decisive and discreet, characterised by the use of a contemporary language with essential lines, is dictated by respect for and enhancement of the compositional elements of the existing building, the relationship with neighbouring buildings and the rigorous alignment with the windows on the floor below. The only free and playful gesture is the creation of a patio completely invisible from the outside, overlooking the sky and the old red brick fireplaces of the adjacent building.

via Settembrini 9, Gino Guarnieri, studioAmilano, Milan, 2020
via Settembrini 9, Gino Guarnieri, studioAmilano, Milan, 2020

The layout of the interior is the result of the architect's ongoing research into the themes of domesticity and space in the home for the contemporary family.

The living area, organised around a lacquered iron and wood furniture unit, is a system of convivial spaces, a succession of communicating and shielded rooms, each with its own function and identity, each one with its own different objects, finishes, dimensions and use of light.

The sleeping area, organized along an equipped distribution corridor, houses the master bedroom and three bedrooms with personal bathrooms, one for each child. Three essentially neutral and equal environments, sufficiently equipped to be real, ideal and symbolic containers of their growth.

via Settembrini 9, Gino Guarnieri, studioAmilano, Milano, 2020
via Settembrini 9, Gino Guarnieri, studioAmilano, Milan, 2020

The obvious reference to the traditional bourgeois Milanese home and its masters can be seen in the refined choice of finishing materials and the accurate design of the furnishings.

Single-material floors in conglomerate cement mixed with sanded stone present in every room of the house and outdoor plasters that cross over to the interior, are combined with natural wood panelling, velvet coverings used for hallways and anterooms and the coloured and veined marble, used both as traditional bathroom coverings and decorative panels in the dining and sleeping areas.

via Settembrini 9
Recovery of attic in historical building for single-family residence use
Project team:
Gino Guarnieri, Jacopo Agnolazza. External collaborator Luca Mercatelli
228 sqm
via Settembrini, Milan
Ferraro Wooden houses
Custom-made furniture:
Arbusta Furniture
Door and window frames:
Cobola Srl

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