Italian Midcentury Elegance Reimagined in a Compact Urban Space

In the heart of Milan, Italy, an eighty-square-meter apartment has undergone a transformative redesign that maximizes its compact space while infusing it with sleek, modern aesthetics. 

Tasked with the challenge of incorporating a new bathroom, guest room, and a distinctively concealed living area within its modest footprint, Eligo Studio embarked on a creative journey to redefine urban living spaces.

The design centerpiece is the living area, where the kitchen is ingeniously hidden within a lacquered green volume. This approach not only enhances the functionality of the space but also its visual appeal, adhering to the client’s desire for a minimalist aesthetic that exudes order and cleanliness. 

The owner emphasized the importance of a tidy, orderly space, leading to a design that features retractable elements like the kitchen, bar cabinet, and TV. These can be concealed, transforming the area into a seamless ‘perfect box’ that maintains a clutter-free environment.

Eligo Studio’s design strategy was informed by their previous projects, treating the kitchen akin to a wardrobe. When closed, it blends seamlessly with the surroundings, leaving the living area spacious and uncluttered. This concept not only meets the functional requirements of the space but also aligns with contemporary design trends that favor clean lines and minimalist aesthetics.

The apartment’s interior required a complete overhaul as there was little to preserve from its previous iteration, a nondescript layout resulting from a renovation in the 1960s by famous Milanese architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni. The redesign was not just an aesthetic update but also a strategic utilization of space, fitting two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living area with a hidden kitchen into an area measuring between 70 and 80 square meters.

A key aspect of the renovation was the geometric realignment of the apartment. The redesign focused initially on the axes of the house, particularly emphasizing the longitudinal axis with oak floor lines where old tiles were replaced with a light resin.

This not only provided a softer, more comfortable underfoot but also helped elongate the perception of space within the apartment. The ceiling features, as well, were inspired by the diagonal axis. These slats cleverly conceal the lighting system, adding to the overall clean and unobtrusive design.

The apartment also features a strategic division of the bathroom into two functional areas and a spacious bedroom with a walk-in closet that doubles as a corridor, enhancing the utility of the space without compromising on style.

The resulting design ethos is retro yet unmistakably contemporary, achieving a balance that reflects modern design sensibilities while nodding to the architectural heritage of the building.

Photos by Piercarlo Quecchia – Delfino Sisto Legnani Studio