For the president of a major film studio, our goal was to transform a series of boxy, beige, low-ceilinged rooms with Southern exposure into a stylish executive suite with a cinematic feel. Our assertive treatment of the four rooms - reception, office, bar and bathroom - was intended to communicate the style, confidence and daring of the executive himself. To temper the harsh daylight and to heighten the drama in a nearly Kubrickian sense, we fabricated custom wood shutters and created a classicising order to the envelope with applied boiserie, lacquering everything a high-gloss, dark petrol green. The mauve-grey wool carpet, chartreuse laminated glass bookshelves and vivid red lacquered cabinet by Kazuhide Takahama introduce slightly discordant color notes.
The centerpiece of the office is a spectacular leather-topped, electroplated steel ‘Pipistrello’ desk by Luigi Caccia Dominioni, who also designed the mirror-polished chrome and glass coffee table and side tables. The headlamp-inspired sconces are by Ignazio Gardella, and the unique steel and metal-studded rubber stair unit that leads to the roof terrace was designed by The Archers and was inspired by lunar landing gear. The expressive steel stair handrail and wiry bookcase frames are treated with anthracite grey metallic automotive lacquer.
Sofas by Mario Bellini in the screening area are grouped beneath a wall sculpture entitled ‘Archivio’ by Flavio Favelli, consisting of hundreds of black tesserae that create four compact but irregular surfaces set into antique gilt frames. These refract the Southern light back into the room, creating unexpected patterns on the lacquered walls. The ‘Oracle’ floor and table lamps are by Gae Aulenti, and the carved Botticino marble ‘Biagio’ desk lamp by Tobia Scarpa desk lamp is reminiscent of a Xenomorph’s head.
In the reception room, we sought to create a hushed environment that could serve as a prelude to the glossy and metallic finishes of the office itself, and we were Inspired by Egon von Fürstenberg’s nineteen-seventies ‘Power Look’. Here, every visible surface is clad in charcoal grey flannel; the walls, the button-tufted Eames ‘Sofa Compact,’ the Franco Albini ‘Firenze’ armchair, even the exterior of the assistants’ walnut-framed cubicles. These high-walled cubicles have glossy tomato red Abet Laminati interiors, but to the visitor, the room appears monochromatic. Only upon exiting the office after a power meeting does the visitor ‘see red.’ In the bathroom – the brightest of the four rooms – wryly hangs a suite of Charles Le Brun’s physiognomies engravings. The walls here are papered with antique grisaille panels by Zuber, depicting a tropical paradise.