Notes From Milan: Fuorisalone (Ciao, PTSD!)
The fairground alone was a zoo, with 386,236 (official number) bodies cramming aisles to see a couple thousand exhibitors split among the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Euroluce, Workplace3.0, and S.Project. Add entire neighbourhoods like Brera, Tortona, 5vie, La Triennale and Ventura Centrale with twice that many gawkers, and it’s natural to wonder where they put the trauma centres to help deal with the PTSD (post-traumatic Salone disorder).
The Litta Variations / Opus 5
A historic residence in the heart of Milan, Palazzo Litta is an anchor among the plethora of off-site events that overtake the city during Design Week. A warren of rooms and corridors within the residence form a network of galleries for dozens of makers and artists, but the focus begins and ends in the main courtyard, where Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen had the honour of erecting Echo. A mirrored surface reflects the baroque colonnade and the two upper orders that make up the courtyard of the building, while the interior reveals the sky, a natural element isolated from the city.
Connecting Experiences│Poltrona Frau
Architect Michele De Lucchi viewed Poltrona Frau’s headquarters on via Manzoni as a blank slate in which to explore his previously unrealised architectural project, called Earth Stations. Overall, the idea was to show was to illustrate how technology (particularly AI) will free us to focus more on communication, work and leisure, so De Lucchi subdivided the facility into zones (of which the palazzo seen here was one part) promoting such activities. www.poltronafrau.com
In a dark room in Teatro Arsenale, a building that dates back to 1272 in Milan’s 5Vie district (a growing player in the active off-site neighbourhoods of FuoriSalone), Laufen asked New York-based Snarkitecture to convey its story in a material vocabulary. At the entrance, visitors are squeezed between mountains: to the left, 198 tons of raw clay, the same material stocked in Laufen’s warehouses that become the basis of all manufacturing; to the right, a monumental three-dimensional construction composed of 701 Laufen washstands in SaphirKeramik. www.laufen.com