A pink neon sign resembling an American cinema from the sixties, located outside via Fatebenefratelli in Milan, invites us to enter.
Once inside, the surprise. Without realizing it too much, we are thrown into a special, warm and inviting environment, in its own way bright and definitely original, created for the week of Salone del Mobile in Milan from Luca Guadagnino and from his study: SLG. A real debut for the Oscar-nominated Italian director, who thus fulfilled his wish – expressed a few years ago – to also try to be an interior designer, which succeeds perfectly. First by founding his studio (in 2017) – which has already done projects for private clients or luxury commercial premises (the Aesop stores in Rome and London and Redemption in New York) – and then debuting in what is the largest furniture fair in the world.
Choose to exhibit in Space RT – historical Milanese design studio and showroom by Antonio and Jacopo Tabarelli de Fatis, a leader in the design and creation of interiors for apartments, commercial spaces and offices for over twenty years, in Italy and abroad – it was almost automatic, also considering the relationship between esteem and attention to beauty that binds them all a little.
The impact of the environment that attracts and conquers is immediate. The fireplace on the right, in fluorescent ceramics, is a bold and unusual choice and can therefore only attract our attention as the glass application with baroque shape, reminiscent of the blonde hair on Botticelli’s Venus de Milo, “jewels” – it must be said. – produced and sold by FontanaArte. The twin (different) that is in front is instead in Italian stone Ceppo di Grè. Not far away, placed on a small table, is an unnamed ceramic work by Francesco Simeti, a childhood friend of Guadagnino from the Palermo era. A sofa, three chairs and a pouf by the Italian designer Ignazio Gardella from the middle of the 20th century, which is part of the Digamma collection from 1957, are in front of us and it is really a feature not to sit down . “Our idea – as Guadagnino explained – was that insert a design masterpiece into the whole to demonstrate what we mean by making a space alive “.
Here, therefore, is the place he has intended and called, certainly not by chance “By the fire / by the fire” – a room all to itself, you could say, with coffee tables and wood panels produced by Spazio RT, as well as two large colored carpets in wool and silk, which Francesco Clemente would very much like, like the fireplace, given the style, both produced by La Manifacture Cogolin from Saint Tropez. Together, the pop-art flowers are reinterpreted as in a checkered collage designed by Northern Irish graphic designer Nigel Peake, who had previously worked on Guadagnino’s HBO TV series. We are who we are. Their idea was to reflect on an idea of Persian flower rugs and how to make them today. “What came out of it – the director explained – is one modern vision and rock’n’rolllike the Rolling Stones in the South of France in the 1970s “and thus refers to the band’s legendary recording sessions at Villa Nellicote in Villefranche-sur-Mer in 1972 for the album Exile on Main Street”.
‘Stanzone’ is in fact two separate – albeit connected and very close – living areas inspired by the work of Carlo Scarpa, honored with the use of a technique very dear to him (that of “pleated calico”) for walls and ceilings. Guadagnino thus demonstrates that he loves that space as well as space in general. “She loves living in it with form and light and making it accessible to those who live there,” explains Eleonora Grigoletto and Stefano Baisi, director and project manager of the studio, respectively.
Throughout his professional life, the director of much-loved films such as Call me by your name, A Bigger Splash And I am love, worked on the creation of two-dimensional spaces. “With interior architecture, however, it is different – he explains – because it is about three-dimensional space. There are so many variables and values involved, such as making decoration becomes an essential element in the creation of space and not just something that is used in the end. Post-war modernism and architecture in Italy taught me to work with geometry and to make it an essential part of the idea of space, thus trying to give a geometric order to a sensuous world. ”
We would like to stay there, surrounded by such beauty, leaning comfortably on the red travertine coffee table and staring at the black granite table from far away as the boiserien. We would like to keep drinking a drink, perhaps with a fireplace despite the heat, just to try it, because it always gives color and warmth.
But no, you have to go back and forth to a reality that is – apparently – really something else.
Next to the Fire / By the Fire by Studio Luca Guadagnino
Spazio RT, Via Fatebenefratelli, 34 – Milano
From 6 to 12 June 2022, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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