Milan, IT
Micro Living

The apartment sits in a recently revitalized area of Milan, as part of the project designed to regenerate the Darsena basin. In a very touristic context such as this, in the area surrounding Via Savona, Tortona and Darsena, the intervention will have a receptive function. It is, therefore, to be perceived as a project that re-qualifies as a property investment in order to cater for the short and medium term lease market.

Short or medium term tourists require homes that can guarantee the same comfort as a stable home. In order to provide as much free space as possible, we decided to place the various service areas, such as the kitchen, entrance and bathroom, on the edges of the main inhabitable space and furthest from the light provided by the large windows. It is from these fixed points where we began to add sliding movable elements which guarantee varied spatial combinations depending on the varied desired uses.

From the outset, we wanted the design to incorporate the sense of magic and playfulness in a confined domestic space.

From a formal perspective, the project contains two different storage types: fixed and mobile. The fixed storage elements contain service spaces and functions such as a wardrobe, a kitchen and a laundry. The movable elements contain temporary functions such as a study area and the breakfast/lunch table, and a walk-in closet.

In any ‘Micro Living' apartment, to ensure the comfort given by the presence of interchangeable spaces, it is important to work with the concept of TIME.

Only a few spatial scenarios can happen at the same time or within close proximity to another, most of which depend on, or benefit from, the changing of natural light within the apartment. Many household activities are regularly carried out in fairly ordered succession, depending on the time of the day.

Desire and necessity have led to a home which changes ‘magically’, with a series of scenarios, one different from the next. These spatial organisations seem to open and close, depending on the hours of day and natural light radiating into the apartment.

The inner atmosphere is formally defined by the stylized unit of fixed furnishing elements, capable of incorporating different functions and features within its compositional logic. The furnishing elements also take on other roles: they act as spatial limits and fixed scenes, but also serve as a tool box of functional elements which allow the user to benefit from very compact storage within the confinements of contemporary urban living. The project strategy aims at solving technical, functional and ergonomic issues with an inclusive logic within fixed and movable furnishing elements in order to highlight the breadth and interchangeability of the main inhabitable space.

All the furniture is custom designed and handmade by a local carpenter in his small workshop, highlighting precision while glorifying the imperfections of handcraft.


Client: Private
Tipology: Micro Living
Place: Milan, Italy
Year: 2017
Sqm: 29
Architectural Design: ATOMAA
Photography: Luca Broglia
General contractor: Lorenzo Bottoni
Carpenter: Giuseppe Marra