Garden Senato: a multipurpose space with a strong identity

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In Milan, a listed building becomes a multipurpose events space. Architect Alessandra Dalloli oversaw a conservative project which, thanks to furnishings and custom solutions, reorganised the various spaces, making them more flexible and creating a contemporary look.

In the heart of the city's design district, Garden Senato is a space for temporary events in Milan, designed by the architect Alessandra Dalloli who curated the design, artistic direction and coordinated aesthetic. The space is part of a listed complex that falls under the protection of the Department for Architectural Heritage, which granted approval for a largely conservative project of works. The latter nonetheless succeeded in creating a distinctive, contemporary space: as Dalloli explained, “My project created a strong identity of place and an organisation of indoor and outdoor spaces that was previously non-existent”.

The work at Garden Senato involved the building’s facades, the formal courtyard, the portico, the pergola and terrace, the small annex building (outbuilding), the multipurpose space and the gardens.

Dalloli sought to create harmony between the various component elements of the complex in a bid to establish a sense of continuity. Architectural barriers were eliminated as much as possible to optimise the existing space and paths were created between the parts.

The garden is the beating heart of the project and remains the centre of the complex.

It provides all spaces with visual enrichment and offers views, pathways and corners for quiet contemplation.

To enhance continuity with the natural stone of the exterior, Marazzi porcelain stoneware, and in particular Mystone Ceppo di Gré was chosen in a natural finish and in a large size (75×150 cm), installed as a covering in the entrance of the multipurpose space, on part of the staircase and in all of the location’s bathrooms, including the walls. The natural Powder Mud series (75×150 cm) was used, meanwhile, for the flooring of the multipurpose space and the outbuilding. The collection’s concrete effect deliberately ties in with the other flooring material present: deactivated concrete with natural stone and Palladiana floors. “I chose Marazzi stoneware because of its superb aesthetic quality, which was essential given the prestigious setting. But another consideration was its practicality in terms of everyday maintenance and hygiene, as this is an events space. Last but not least, the material offers superb durability”.

Great attention was devoted to permanent furnishing elements present in the various spaces. For example, the gallery features an actual installation consisting of alternating seats and circular discs, a decorative solution which also conceals the building’s plant equipment. Similarly, in the multipurpose space the boiserie wall panelling transforms into work stations, while the sliding room dividers can be folded away inside large central cabinets. Lastly, the garden features a custom-built semi-circular stone bench and wooden slat benches under the pergola.


Ph  Andrea Martiradonna