The most precious treasures are always hidden, and only the love for the search of beauty can let us discover them. The Art, Architecture and Style of each place are inextricably linked to the history that has taken place there. So if Venice is the city of ephemeral appearance that covers the palaces on the Grand Canal with rich facades and Rome is the city of baroque splendours, which accompany the gaze from a door to a window, from a column to a balustrade.
Again, Florence is the city of the Renaissance where the facades of the palaces speak of rigour, work, order, Milan is the city that hides its riches, behind the austere facades of its palaces. Behind those facades are the enchantments of the internal courtyards, the decorated facades, the unexpected gardens, rich in statues, fountains, flowers.
These surprises, which cannot be imagined from the outside, just as it is impossible to imagine the precious riches of some rooms, born as reception places and dedicated to welcoming the feasts and celebrations of the noble and bourgeois families that have made Milan’s history. A perfect example of this is the palace that houses the Società del Giardino, Palazzo Spinola.
The palace was born from the union of two pre-existing buildings, unified into a single complex by Leonardo Spinola, who arrived in Milan from Genoa and became related to the Marino family. He soon made his fortune working in the banking field and bought these properties in 1562. In 1597, after much slowdown due to the client’s reversals of fortune, the works were finally completed. On Spinola’s death, the palace passed through various owners until, in 1819, it was bought by the Società del Giardino, which had already been using it since the previous year.
You have to go through the main door, cross the inner courtyard and some rooms, walk in the garden and then come back and stop, surprised and admired, in the heart of those rooms, in the majestic Salone d’Oro, inaugurated in 1820 and for one night, my stage… Here, in fact, I had the pleasure of organising a few events. Still, I remember one in particular, which allowed me to create a truly unique setting and for which I was able to let the creative spirit rise free of constraints and limitations to create moments of pure beauty.
The shape of the Salone d’Oro, the colours of the boiserie, gold and crystals were the starting point; the arrival point was the creation of an imperial table, covered with celadon green tablecloths, on which the floral decoration and the gold of the modern candelabra, designed for the occasion, created that harmony that I like to build on contrasts.
Yes, because the secret is always to go beyond the easiest and most obvious choices, those that suggest coordinated, correct, but lifeless harmonies. More beautiful, more involving and undoubtedly, more exciting, to look for the unexpected and the unseen before, to create agreements based on apparent dissonances, to get where the common feeling would not want to go, and this is how my projects are born, where colours apparently far from the tones of the environment in which I find myself, become part of that space. They become the punctuation that gives meaning to the whole story.
And then there is the love for the history of the art of receiving to guide me in my choices. So, during the evening, according to the Renaissance custom used by the Sforza ducal family, some characters in period costume announced the various courses, reading poetic texts, specially composed while a duo of dancers danced to the music of a string quartet. The magic is done, now we can open the door, go out again into the garden and let the guests enjoy the party to us, the echo of the music and their joy.
Edit by Angelo Garini
Architect & Emotion Designer