Charmed liv­ing

With a new horse­shoe-shaped lay­out that en­cour­ages the Ital­ian sun­shine to stream in, this apart­ment is a real trea­sure

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words BETHAN RY­DER Pho­tog­ra­phy BIRGITTA WOLF­GANG/ SIS­TERS AGENCY

This home’s new horse­shoe-shaped lay­out en­cour­ages the Ital­ian sun to stream into ev­ery room

When you pos­sess a Flo­ren­tine apart­ment that’s blessed with the river­side view E M Forster’s hero­ine Lucy Hon­ey­church yearns for in A Room With A View – Ponte Vec­chio, Uf­fizi Palace and all – you would be for­given for spend­ing all of your time re­lax­ing on the ter­race. How­ever, the lucky fash­ion in­dus­try insider who owns this Modernist 1950s home has been very busy. In want of a larger main bed­room and a more spa­cious liv­ing area, he com­mis­sioned Rome-based ar­chi­tect Mas­simo Adario to re­con­fig­ure the in­te­rior. The re­sult is not merely a room with a view, but a light-filled 250-square-me­tre flat that of­fers breath­tak­ing vis­tas at ev­ery glance.

Mas­simo re­ar­ranged the apart­ment into a horse­shoe lay­out, curved around a small court­yard. He re­moved all of the in­ter­nal walls, cre­at­ing a size­able kitchen from four smaller rooms and re­duc­ing the property from three bed­rooms to two. He was not, how­ever, given carte blanche. ‘This build­ing was built after this area was de­stroyed in World War II, but in a way that was sen­si­tive to the me­dieval ar­chi­tec­ture that sur­vived. The walls are ir­reg­u­lar and the fin­ishes date back to the mid-cen­tury – the owner wanted to main­tain a clas­sic 1950s Ital­ian feel.’

That lo­cal flavour has been achieved by sourc­ing a col­lec­tion of el­e­gant, orig­i­nal 1950s fur­ni­ture de­signs by the likes of Giò Ponti, Os­valdo Bor­sani and Franco Al­bini, but also through a va­ri­ety of struc­tural and dec­o­ra­tive means. Rich, fluted teak has been used to cre­ate the kitchen cab­i­netry and a curved room di­vider. An orig­i­nal set of dou­ble glass doors has been lov­ingly re­stored and ad­di­tional sets, sal­vaged from sim­i­lar apart­ments, in­stalled to re­place walls, lend­ing the apart­ment a light feel.

‘I try to cre­ate vis­ual con­nec­tions be­tween the in­te­rior and the out­side,’ says Mas­simo. ‘In most flats, the court­yard would be closed off with cur­tains. Here, in­stead, I have used hor­i­zon­tal tim­ber blinds that main­tain the views. This new open­ness cre­ates a gen­er­ous feel­ing of space.’ mas­si­moad­ario.com

Liv­ing room This va­ri­ety of vin­tage 1950s fur­ni­ture, in­clud­ing floor lamps, brass ta­bles and arm­chairs, is sourced from Ga­lerie Flair in Ar­les, France. The sofa is a 1950s de­sign by Gigi Radice for Minotti, and the red paint­ing be­hind is by Garth Weiser.

‘THE WALLS ARE IR­REG­U­LAR AND THE FIN­ISHES DATE BACK TO THE MID-CEN­TURY – THE OWNER WANTED TO MAIN­TAIN A CLAS­SIC 1950S ITAL­IAN FEEL’

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