Entryways of Milan
This is the first appointment of our monthly column dedicated to Architecture and Design books. Why the idea to dedicate a column to the books? Because I could not imagine a life without books. Because every question turns into the right opportunity to consult them. And above all, they are magic: they are the pass to other infinite worlds and lives, that otherwise, I would never have known! Let’s start, then!
384 pages. 144 documented entryways. Ponti, Muzo, Dominioni, Portaluppi, just to mention some of the architects involved. Shape, color, design. Emotional and dramatic architecture.
In the book published by Taschen, Karl Kolbitz tells us the timeless charm of Italian architecture, through the theme of liminality. And Milan is the backdrop, in a game of intrigue between imagination and appearance. Between thin boundaries, everything takes on a hybrid character. More than ever, the entryways. Let’s find them out together, in the streets of Milan!
Behind Closed Doors
What we see of a building is an envelope, which we can penetrate only through its entryways. But what is hidden behind them? Where does the city end and where does the building start? How thin is the boundary between inside and outside?
Man, as we know, is by nature curious. In front of a beautiful door, a beautiful Milanese building, he can find himself imagining what is there, behind the wall. What’s behind closed doors? And how important is the first impression? A lot. The Italian architects knew it well. So they embellished the streets of Milan through small portals to different worlds and ways of experiencing the city! Worlds in which the preferential lane is reserved for beauty, proportion and aesthetic research.
Beautiful, but equally hidden and discreet worlds. Far from theatricality, feature that is much more in keeping with today’s world. In a chaotic and cosmopolitan city, there are places like these. Capable of stopping time and telling a vision. A vision that overcomes appearances and exceeds closed doors.
The Discreet Charm of the Entryway
Residential architecture and design. Aesthetic and formal research. At first glance, this book may seem a hymn to form, to the wise (but often eccentric) mix of colors and geometries.
But those, who believe that they will only find this reading-key, are wrong. The theme of the entryways becomes a metaphor for the world of architecture, fashion and design. Form and content. Content that dominates form. In a Milan certainly different from many other Italian cities, the visitor is certainly not impressed by the beauty of the city. He is probably struck by his rhythms, by his capacity for evolution, while still holding immovable values. It is in a similar context, that entryways, conceived and designed by famous architects and designers, or not, stand out and make us wonder.
The entryway appears to be discreet, in a discreet city from an aesthetic point of view. The discretion is less in front of interiors and entrance corridors. Sumptuous, magnificent, full of meaning and charm. Loads of the ability to amaze!
Nature Inside and Ceramics Everywhere
A real journey, where the medium becomes our eyes. Unique, heterogeneous entryways. Inputs capable of mixing nature and artifice without this being inappropriate.
The place of liminality is the right arena of confrontation/encounter between nature and artifice. Nature, that is expressed in the interior through plants, light and colors. Artifice expertly dosed, through the use of materials. Among all, there are the marbles and the ceramics. But how could it be otherwise?
Tradition and Italian cultural heritage find expression here through architecture. The visitor/reader plays a key role in interpreting the details. Images that become true works of art, to be read, scrutinized, questioned. With a view always aware of the architectural value of the term “hybridization”.
Why to read it?
In reality it would be appropriate to ask why not read it!
This book presents itself as a photographic book. A book that, through the shots of some of the great names of photography, wants to give a synoptic view on Milan and its entryways. And it succeeds. It succeeds even when thebook is not read, but only observed.
I flip through the pages and think: “This is not the Milan I know, or rather, I thought I knew. This is the secret Milan, unwilling to show itself. Milan that wants to be searched, discovered. “
And immediately I would want to slip the book under my arm and visit the city again. Looking for these magical portals. To really discover the essence of the margin, of the threshold that is crossed. To experience the time that stops, in a city that never stops.
Is it a book just for insiders?
Absolutely not! It is rather a guide to a city, filtered through an important and very current theme: the border!
Have a good reading, or better, a good tour! Ortenca Osmenaj