The Milan Atelier
An open environment able to adapt to the changing needs of a modern-day office.
We are in a creative workshop, inside an Art Nouveau building in the Brera district of Milan, the heart of the design world. Everyone who enters engages in the atmosphere of circularity that infuses the space and is both spectator and key player in the circular cycle of meeting rooms and workstations. Traces of ideas and projects in continuous evolution abound everywhere. The open environment responds to the changing needs of a contemporary office. The ground floor is a large reception area that looks onto a characteristic Milanese courtyard. Connecting the workstations between the first and second floors is the central void where one already feels the buzz of activity within. The dynamic and informal space fosters the exchange of skills, triggering a process of dialogue and growth. The large windows let in natural light, enhancing the space and cultivating a positive relationship with the outside. The attic floor is a space for meetings and workshops: this is where Michele De Lucchi works, at a table that is the prototype of Olivetti’s Sangirolamo and surrounded by cherished objects collected on his travels or given by friends and clients. The workshop equipped with artisan’s tools and digital machines occupies the basement, and is our space for creation, the place where ideas take the tangible form of models and prototypes, where manual skills and digitisation feed into and fuel one another. It is by working with our hands that we experiment and find solutions. The natural colour of the wood, the soft light, the harmonious layout of the space: everything contributes to creating an atmosphere of peace. Floors in natural larch, boiserie in poplar, the handrails, shelves, doors and partition walls all in natural wood. The walls and ceilings have no stucco or plaster but are retouched with a light patina of white paint; the remnants of the former coatings, the marks of the suspension points and the tiling adhesive that shows traces of the tools original used, the raw concrete, the tracks of the old plant systems, the junctions of the demolished floors. Everything is left visible, rough and bare, as witness to a state of fluidity and continual change.