For Italo Manca, going out without a bow tie and suit jacket would be unthinkable! An “aberration” that would make him, one of the most elegant men in Milan, feel naked, almost illegitimate. The owner of La Libera – a...
Fanny, David: who does what in your duo?
It’s very much a mix – we work together and come to conclusions together through confrontation. However, David starts out with the idea of a layout, he is very creative with space, and then I will starts with the atmosphere/ materials.
What part of Milan are we in?
Close to the castle! right in the middle of the city and the historic parts of Milan.
Tell us the story of this apartment. How long have you lived here?
We moved many years ago from the previous apartement in which we lived. Fanny had moved into my old flat, which was wonderful, but smaller and slightly more masculine, of course. Eventually as the office grew, we realized we needed more space and wanted to optimize both flat and studio, so we moved into this apartment thinking we would have our office here as well for quite some time. However within 8 months we outgrew the flat as well, and moved to proper offices, which was very nice, as we got the entire flat to ourselves, since we love it so much, it feels great.
How did you furnish it? What kind of atmosphere did you want to create?
The flat is a typical Milanese flat, with tall ceilings and beautiful original decor, and we wanted to keep just that, all its orginal feeling which is so welcoming and wonderful. We are however contemporary in our work, so we furnished it with both old and new pieces, like we do in our interior projects. There are pieces by our friends, like the great library by Pietro Russo, and pieces done by David like the George’s chair for Living Divani. There are also vintage pieces that we have found throught the years and pieces by those we admire the most, like Castiglioni. Some were key in creating the atmosphere like the carpet by Altai Gallery in Milan, whilst others are more subtle.
Are there any pieces from the Six Gallery – which you are responsible for curating – or others from your own range of designs?
No we currently dont have any Six Gallery pieces, many sold! But we do have some of Davids designs for the companies he works with like Living Divani or Lema, although he is quite shy and would rather not have too much of his work at home.
Tell us about your art collection. Where did the pieces come from? How do you like to showcase them?
We love art, we both studied History of Art before studying architecture, hence it is very intertwined in our work and something we always look at for inspiration. We are lucky to have some great artists like Gianni Politi (triptych in living room) and Goldschmied & Chiari (mirror like work in office) that are close friends and that is very inspiring.
The flat is a typical Milanese flat, with tall ceilings and beautiful original decor, and we wanted to keep just that.
Did colours play an important role in the design of your interior?
Yes in the sense that we wanted to keep it very natural and neutral, so not a lot of color – we painted the very private areas of the apartement dark grey, to oppose the more public ones, but other than that in the decor everything is wood white, or natural green evoking nature.
Who are the masters (designers, artists, etc.) who inspire you in your work and in your daily life?
So many! As mentioned art has always been a big inspiration. Anyone from Donald Judd, to Eduardo Chillida to Frank Stella have contributed greatly in our work, and continue to do so.
What is your latest news here in Milan and abroad?
We have many exciting projects going on from commercial to private residences. we are particularly excited to finish a townhouse in London and a villa in Miami.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily