Patricia Urquiola creates warm, contemporary home for Patrizia Moroso

Conceived by the Spanish architect and designer for the creative of the Italian furniture brand Moroso, this home owes its success to their long-standing friendship

Living room with red floor, blue sofa, mustard armchair, red floor lamp and artwork
Max Zambelli

Set in exotic gardens, filled with African artwork and layered with bold colours, Patrizia Moroso’s home in Udine, north-east Italy, is a reflection of her warmth and creativity. A collaborative project with Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola and Italian architect Martino Berghinz, this dramatic dark box is home to the Moroso creative director, her artist husband, Abdou Salam Gaye, and their three children. ‘Patricia is fantastic,’ enthuses Patrizia. ‘She captured my emotions perfectly. She understood my visions and dreams and used them to create something beautiful.’ Here Patrizia talks us through the design process and the result.

Portrait of Patricia Urquiola and Patrizia Moroso
Max Zambelli

Tell us how the project came about... I had been looking around for the right house for a long time when a friend told me about a plot of land in Udine that contained an incredible abandoned garden. I went to see it and discovered a little paradise in the middle of the city, so I decided to build my home there.

Exterior of Patrizia Moroso's home. Clad in wood with russet coloured balcony and window frames
Max Zambelli


What inspired the design? Patricia and I had travelled together a lot for work, and we particularly loved the modern indoor/outdoor houses that we saw in Australia. We wanted to replicate that sense of openness and create a house where it would be possible to appreciate the beauty of the garden from the inside.

Patrizia Moroso's dining room
Max Zambelli

Did you have any specific requests? I wanted my home to incorporate a lot of glass and to face west, towards the evening sun. I was keen to use wood in the construction and to work with strong but natural colours. The dark grey stain on the exterior of the house was colour-matched to a black beech leaf from the garden, and the red frame is based on plant dyes used by Amazonian tribes.

‘My bedroom has a spectacular view. When I’m up there, I feel like a bird; all you can see is treetops and sky’

How would you describe the interior? Its rooms have a sense of order, but the interior itself feels warm and informal. Much of the design and the palette are inspired by my husband’s family home in Senegal, and the furniture is a mix of Moroso prototypes, one-off pieces and items that are no longer in production.

Patrizia Moroso's living room with sunken seating area
Max Zambelli

Do you have a favourite space in the house? My bedroom. It’s at the corner of the house and has a huge window that offers a spectacular view. When I’m up there, I feel like a bird; all you can see is treetops and sky.

Bedroom with red long-pile rug, armchair and giant picture window leading onto balcony with sculptural green armchair
Max Zambelli

Finally, what do you like most about your home? The relationship we’ve created between the house and the outdoors is fantastic. The garden is filled with exotic trees from abroad, and when you look out it’s as though you’re in the middle of a jungle. I also love the simplicity of the architecture: it’s a perfect box that’s filled with beautiful, complex things. moroso.it; patriciaurquiola.com

WHY WE LOVE IT...

Masterminded by two design greats, the idiosyncratic Italian home of Patrizia Moroso – which was featured in ELLE Decoration’s October 2011 issue – manages to be both unique and unequivocally inviting. No high design or alienating architecture here – just striking, textural spaces executed with richness, warmth and empathy.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Houses