One of the most bustling streets in the cosmopolitan heart of Milan is perhaps not the first place you would expect to find a calming sanctuary. However, that is exactly what Stefania Agostini and Luca Mostarda, founders of architecture practice Amarchitectrue, have created. Their apartment’s greenhouse, separated from the rest of the home by beautiful blue-framed windows, is not just a smart way to bring greenery into an urban setting; it also has practical function.
It was concern about the way the city’s pollution may affect their daughters – Agnese, three, and Matilde, one – that led the couple to create a wall of plants between them and the outside world.
‘A love of nature and a focus on sustainability is important to our generation,’ Stefania and Luca tell us, ‘but being parents of two girls made us even more aware of these issues.’ They populated the space with evergreen defenders (aloe vera, ficuses, calathea and more) that act as a living filter. ‘They absorb the pollution,’ explains Luca. As a bonus, the winter garden also blocks out noise from the hurly-burly below.
It’s not the only smart spatial intervention they have employed here. By raising the kitchen slightly on a platform and adding bold zigzag herringbone marble flooring, the two architects visually divided it from the rest of the living space. Bronzed mirrors help to fool the eye and make this open-plan room feel light and airy.
‘We like reflective surfaces because they create special lighting effects,’ adds Stefania. Certainly, this home is brighter than it would have been in its former life as an office, which was notable only for its long, gloomy corridor.
That corridor, leading to the main bedroom, is transformed now, too. By knocking through walls and replacing them with a wooden partition, Stefania and Luca have made a play area for their daughters. ‘For now, their rooms don’t need doors, but if one day Agnese and Matilde want to have their own spaces, the arches will be the distinguishing elements,’ says Stefania, hinting that she and Luca have more grand plans in mind.
The dynamically creative pair, as well as working on public and residential buildings, also design furniture and accessories. Prototypes for their collections can be found throughout, sitting alongside iconic pieces by the likes of Gio Ponti, Piero Lissoni and Isamu Noguchi. The effect is one of peace and harmony; hard-to-find qualities in a location this central. This home is an oasis in more ways than one. amarchitectrue.studio