Italian Midcentury Elegance: Step Inside this Revitalized Apartment in Florence

Situated within a post-World War II building in the enchanting city of Florence, this midcentury riverside apartment renovated by interior architect Massimo Adario, boasts a captivating blend of history and modernity.

Constructed in the early ’50s, the building stands as a testament to the city’s remarkable post-war reconstruction efforts. With one of its facades facing the Arno river, the apartment offers a unique urban experience, as if overlooking a lively square rather than the flowing river itself. 

Prior to the renovation, the apartment remained largely untouched, preserving its original doors, fixtures, handles, and even the exquisite linoleum flooring. These authentic elements served as a wellspring of inspiration for architect Massimo Adario and his team.

Whenever possible, these pre-existing features were lovingly restored and maintained, allowing their timeless beauty to shine. In cases where deterioration had occurred, the team sourced and replaced them with meticulously chosen materials that perfectly matched the originals.

The guiding principle behind the renovation was to pay homage to the apartment’s origins and era of construction. This translated into a deliberate selection of finishes and furnishings primarily composed of iconic Italian designs from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Pieces by renowned designers such as Franco Albini, Gio Ponti, and Osvaldo Borsani were thoughtfully integrated, not only as a chronological choice but also to create a functional and rational living space.

Respecting the apartment’s original layout, the renovation focused on enhancing the kitchen and bathrooms while preserving their inherent character. One noteworthy aspect is the alignment of one of the three bedrooms with the internal courtyard, entrance foyer, and living room.

This strategic alignment provides a remarkable axial view that extends to the renowned Vasari corridor, creating a seamless visual connection. Within this bedroom, artist Francesco Simeti’s remarkable wallpaper installation adorns the walls, featuring exotic landscapes juxtaposed with foreboding clouds. This artistic intervention adds an intriguing layer of ambiguity, reiterating the axis that gracefully traverses the apartment from via de ‘Bardi to the majestic Arno river.

The choice of materials throughout the apartment reflects a refined and restrained aesthetic. Teak was selected for the doors and fixtures, exuding warmth and timeless elegance. Fluted glass, mounted on frames of natural brass, adds a touch of sophistication and plays with the interplay of light. Marble, with its inherent grandeur and durability, lends an air of luxury to various surfaces.

In essence, this meticulously crafted renovation breathes new life into a historic apartment, seamlessly blending the original features with carefully curated design elements.

The result is a harmonious fusion of the past and the present, where the apartment stands as a testament to timeless Italian design and the spirit of post-war reconstruction.

Photos by Giorgio Possenti