Co.Design

Milan Gallery: The Closest Thing on Earth to Outer Space

With an interior by the architect Simone Micheli, the publishing house and bookstore L'Archivolto spreads--and spaces--out.

The Italian architect Simone Micheli unveiled a splashy new exhibition and events gallery in Milan recently. As the press materials tell it, the place is meant to offer a "journey into the world of art, graphic design, photography, culture..." And, apparently, outer space.

L'Archivolto Events has that studiously intergalactic look that only the Italians, with their Atomic-Age design cred and faint nostalgia for Futurism, can pull off. Most galleries nowadays try to take a backseat to the art. That explains why every wall is painted don't-touch white. Not this one. With its lightsaber-like ceiling lights, ubiquitous LCD screens, and steely spaceship detailing, the art is probably the last thing you want to look at. The architect explains his vision: It is "a pure emotional cell capable to excite and get exited."

And how! Even the structural columns are tricked up:

The loo:

The gallery is an extension of L'Archivolto, a Milanese publishing house and bookstore specializing in architecture. It opened during Milan Design Week last spring.

Here's the entrance. Next stop: The final frontier!

[Images by Alberto Ferrero, courtesy of Simone Micheli]

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