The Cerruti Apartment in Piazzetta Bossi, Milan


Cerruti, Nino

read more close

The apartment, designed to be used as a pied-à-terre by a young couple, is located in a recently restored building in the city centre to be used as offices; this dictated its atypical layout - a small floor area with very high ceilings.

Magistretti considered the unusual layout as an opportunity to design a complex pattern of interlocking volumes by reinterpreting the valuable lesson of the Raumplan (developed by Adolf Loos in the early twentieth century) in a contemporary setting. He designed a big, multi-story space for the informal living area with immaculate wall-to-wall carpeting covering both the floors and the brickwork parapets protecting a short flight of steps which, if necessary, could be turned into multiple seats by adding black leather cushions. The shaped, wooden mezzanine could be accessed from the living area, as could the bedroom and a reading area with a rear wall covered by continuous series of thin shelves. The small kitchen under the mezzanine is hidden behind a folding wall; the satin brass table top in the kitchen is on runners and can either disappear under the stairs, or be pulled out and used as a big dining table. Two ethereal brass sculpture lamps with four Murano glass spheres hang from the ceiling like long stele; they were designed by Magistretti (and produced by the Milanese company owned by Piero Melotti). These lamps are amongst the very few items in an otherwise carefully furnished apartment which - Magistretti writes - "the barer it is, the more it is impressive". Next to the ceiling lamps Magistretti designed the sofas for Cassina and the tables for Gavina. The Cerruti apartment became, above all, a stage set for the debut of the floor lamp "Chimera" designed for Artemide: a supple, undulating, 180 cm sheet of white plexiglas.

The bathroom is wedged in a secluded position halfway between the living room and the mezzanine. The uniform finishes of the walls, lowered surfaces and intradoses - all painted glossy white - help to dilate the visual perception of the real size of this one-room apartment where it is possible to organise parties for up to roughly 100 people.

project profile by Maria Manuela Leoni
same years