The Milan headquarters of creative production company C41 balances the preservation of historic architectural details with colourful styling that expresses the dynamic vision of the team
Creative production company C41 has a unique vision of the world, one it presents through work for myriad iconic brands – including Flos, Louis Vuitton, Nike and Heineken – and a contemporary arts magazine that covers everything from art, design, and fashion, to dizzyingly diverse cultural topics, such as the refugee crisis in Italy, or the work of Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu. So, it’s no surprise that its Milan headquarters is as creatively eclectic as the company’s output.
Designed by architect Andrea Quartieri and driven by a brief developed by the founders, the offices are located on a mezzanine floor inside a large residential unit in an early 19th-century building.
Every effort has been made to preserve the original details – including a rather unexpected mountain landscape wallpaper that is a relic from the time the space served as a waiting room for a doctor’s office. The flooring is another nod to the building’s context and history, with Italian herringbone parquet flooring alternating with a classic Milanese grit.
“The space is ordinary but also warm and comfortable,” explains Luca Caizzi, who co-founded C41 with Leone Balduzzi and Barbara Guieu. “It reflects our creativity as the stories we produce arise from a real and existing fabric.”
While the fabric of the building speaks of its past, the personality of C41 is expressed through vibrant furnishings, lighting and accessories. From a colourful Missoni carpet and vintage green velvet chairs in the meeting room, to a Winchester sofa in green leather alongside a bookcase designed by Giacomo Moor.
Lighting in particular plays an important role in the fit-out. A long RGB LED lamp designed by Quartieri hangs in the corridor and can be programmed to flood the space with different coloured light depending on the mood of the day. Elsewhere, a selection of lamps by Flos – from the String Light by Michael Anastassiades in the entrance to Tobia Scarpo’s Biagio lamp in the production room – add sculptural yet functional elements.
“Making the experience of a space personal without affecting the sacredness of the classic is the biggest challenge ever,” says Caizzi. “In our case, adapting colourful sneakers to pinstripe trousers is the contrast we experience every day.”
Images by C41
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