The townhouse in Milan’s historic centre seems to have evolved effortlessly as if every stone, vault, and fenestration were dictated from deep in its bones. Don’t be fooled: The building’s old-world grandeur was summoned from thin air by Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli.
The five-story building was radically transformed not once, but twice. Built-in 1908 in the Rococo style, it had been stripped of all detail in the 1970s as part of a Brutalist makeover. The current owners, a family with three children, moved from London with an eye to buying a townhouse, especially one with a garden. But such properties are rare in the heart of Milan, where the preference is for larger apartment buildings with units on a single level.
Studio Peregalli reinvented the house again. They chose not to return to the early 20th century and copy the original building’s rehash of an 18th-century style, but to impose an internally consistent structural and decorative logic that didn’t reflect any particular era.
“Our style is to reinvent the past in a way that is a sort of dream, invention, and memory all mixed together,” Peregalli says. He and Sartori Rimini compare their method to cooking, a balance of rigour and innovation that depends on carefully selected ingredients and extreme technical competence. There is no recipe. “Every room is a new invention,” she says.
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