We’ve never been fans of super minimalist spaces, but Milanese architect and sculptor, Vincenzo de Cotii, has skilfully stripped back his 18th century palazzo apartment to expose the beautiful high vaulted ceilings, original paintwork and parquet flooring with a warm and welcoming feel.

The apartment is situated in Magenta, one of the oldest areas of Milan (the colour magenta is named after the uniforms worn in the Battle of Magenta that took place here in 1859), so it’s only natural that the interior reflects the historical nature of the building.

He explains how he and wife Claudia found the apartment with a stroke of luck, “I’d always hoped to live in this area, but the right spaces are very hard to find. I wanted somewhere that retained original features, but still needed a lot of work. We were lucky. It was love at first sight when we viewed this place.”

“Mostly I wanted to preserve the history and positive atmosphere that already existed here. The idea was to maintain its character, but uncover the original paint colours, the ceiling and especially the light. I then worked out what needed my intervention in a contemporary way.”

Vincenzo is a favourite with the likes of Aesop and Alberta Ferretti  in creating their sleek and luxurious retail spaces in keeping with the local architecture, as well as famous for his sculpting and, more recently, a limited-edition furniture collection.  After seeing his clients’ projects, it’s only natural that his own apartment should echo certain trademarks, however, it’s also clear to see more depth and personal interest within the apartment. Like other projects, his famed style of a lived-in yet luxurious feel is evident, but the addition of his own sculptures, art and mix of vintage and modern furniture is unique to the place he calls home.

Vincenzo-de-Cotiis-18th-century-palazzo-apartment-Milan-00

In the study/library, sofa, ‘DC1411’ artwork and ‘DC312’ wall-mounted cabinet in recycled wood, all by de Cotiis.

Vincenzo-de-Cotiis-18th-century-palazzo-apartment-Milan-7

In the entrance hall, tables and ‘DC1402A’ stool by de Cotiis; plaster prototypes of brass sculptures by Massimo Campigli (1950s)

Vincenzo-de-Cotiis-18th-century-palazzo-apartment-Milan-8

In the study/library, cast brass ‘DC1514’ bookcase by de Cotiis on resin-topped platform.

The clever use of brass and glass panels allows the light to reflect from room to room.

The clever use of brass and glass panels allows the light to reflect from room to room.

Vincenzo-de-Cotiis-18th-century-palazzo-apartment-Milan-9

Brazilian marble in the kitchen; brass light by de Cotiis.

Vincenzo-de-Cotiis-18th-century-palazzo-apartment-Milan-13

In the Brazilian marble bathroom, Fontana Arte mirrors (1950s); lights by de Cotiis; early 19th-century bust sculpture from the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

Vincenzo-de-Cotiis-18th-century-palazzo-apartment-Milan-12

In the bedroom, bed by de Cotiis on resin-topped platform; cushions in 1960s dress fabrics; bedspread by Hermès; artwork behind bed and brass light, both by de Cotiis; curved screen next to bed is de Cotiis’s ‘DC1515B’ in recycled fibreglass and brass.

Photography by Kasia Gatkowska.