f you have ever strolled down the Navigli neighbourhood in Milan, you will have certainly come across many leafy courtyards and old buildings with peeling facades, the guardians of magical kingdoms.
The newest port-of-call for real design enthusiasts, SIX is to be found precisely in one of these courtyards. SIX is a truly innovative space: interior design gallery, bistrot and florist in one.
Developed from an idea by the entrepreneur Mauro Orlandelli, SIX is a real group effort: the art director Samuele Savio is responsible for the overall concept and feel, whereas the architects David Lopez Quincoces and Fanny Bauer Grung of Quincoces-Dragò & Parners, a pratice that specialises in luxury retail and hotel interiors, have designed the entire space.
We’re at n. 7 via Scaldasole, a stone’s throw away from the Darsena, the same site of a sixteenth century monastery. But from the moment we step inside, we find ourselves in a margical kingdom and it's apparent that SIX has nothing in common with the building's period facade. This has to be because of its lush tropical garden that entroduces visitors to a unique world composed by three distinct areas: the Six Gallery, the Sixième bistrot and the Irene florist.
The exposed brickword painted in smoke-grey, the original period floor and exotic references that bring to mind a Moroccan riad act as a backdrop for displaying classic-modern twentieth-century furniture: the timeless armchairs by Gio Ponti, modern Scandinavian furniture, chairs by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret and tables by Gabriella Crespi. Here, the interior blends with the exterior creating a soothing environment.
In a lush corner of the courtyard, a small stone wash-basin filled with flowers and plants guides visitors to the landscape architect Irene Cuzzaniti’s design studio/ florist: you should definitely walk passed the sophisticated floral arrangements and take a look at her limited-edition pieces.
And after having looked at all the pieces on display, indulge in a romantic meal in the hopes that this day will never end. Where? In Sixième of course, in other words the intimate bistrot developed from an idea by the musician Sergio Carnevale, who has a talent for setting the right mood – in fact Sergio's Zog di Ripa bar in Porta Ticinese is well-known too. Sixième is a real must, and you are bound to have a wonderful time surrounded by Isamu Noguchi's lanterns, especially designed for this tasteful and stylish space.
Where: Six Gallery, 7 via Scaldasole, Milan, Italy