To Hannes Peer, Milan is like a second home. It is the city where he founded, in 2009, his own architectural agency after starting out his career with Rem Koolhaas and Zvi Hecker. Those five years of hard work, with both residential and trading orders, enabled him to rise to the top. AD France chose him as one of the 10 new international talents in interior design, the internet adores him and the number of projects increases. What a good news for this graduate of the Polytechnic University of Milan, fond of sophistication. A real “luxury” according to Hannes, who in addition to building and transforming houses, also designs most of his customers’ furniture, paying special attention to which material and fabric are used. Just as he does in his house. In his apartment, straight out of the 1960s, the young architect has an eclectic taste, he oscillates between traditional and contemporary design. A surprising mix of compositions, where Milanese patterns, elegant lighting and every detail is well thought out, it creates an atmosphere which is a direct legacy of the concept of Palimpsest. This designer who quotes Carlo Mollino and his nonconformist style as his mentor never ceases to amaze us. Encounter with a man who, even in his own home, located in front of the university campus envisioned by Gio Ponti, creates bridges between the past and the present in a historic and fascinating scavenger hunt.
Hannes, can you introduce yourself?
I am a young architect, and I have my own studio,Hannes Peer Architecture, in Milan that I opened 5 years ago. I am working for several fashion brands which are developing their retail design such as N°21 and Iceberg. But my first love goes to residential architecture. I just love building or remodelling homes with a historical background. Actually, last week, AD France has chosen me as one of the 10 new international talents in interior design. It made me particularly proud, so I may think that I am on a good path with my work. And yes, I love my work!
Why did you choose this area to live in Milan?
The area I live and work in is right next to the Politecnico where I used to study architecture. I loved this area during my student years: it is a very green place, on a human scale, and there are some nice bars and restaurants. Nostalgia too made me decide to move back here, as there is a bit of nostalgia in all my architectural works.
Could you tell us what is your style in terms of interior design?
My style is a mix of traditional and contemporary, typically old and new. I love in particular the concept of ‘Palimpsest’, the overlapping of different architecture styles, highlighting the respect for historical elements, but then try to always include and superimpose contemporary elements, giving the whole project a very eclectic touch. I have always intended to create an architectural dialogue between past and present, and sometimes I create even fake historical elements to blur the line between the two even more. I want my projects to be sophisticated also in terms of materials. This has much to do with the richness of the palette of elements that I use, such as silk rugs, oxidised metals, aged timbers, surfaces with different transparencies, textural surfaces, etc. The opulence of these textures mixed with the drama of the natural lighting imbue space with a sense of theatre. The lusciousness of the textures and the theatrical nature of the space undoubtedly carry the stamp of my deeply Italian architectural research.
Where do you find your inspiration?
By doing hardcore research. My Instagram blog which shows the latest updates of my research has reached almost 20k followers. Whenever I have time – and sometimes it means at night -. I look for things on the Internet, for my blog. I love everything eclectic and interesting in and around art and architecture.
What was your education in terms of interior design?
Where do you go when you look for an object or a piece of furniture for your different projects?
Internet is the best way to research: it is fast, for an architect like me that actually deals with all aspects of my studio, from client scouting, designing, to drawing technical details.
Which designer or architect do you like the most? Why?
If I had to choose just one, it would probably be Carlo Mollino. His eclectic style and his nonconformist aesthetics inspired my work many times.
Is there a piece of furniture you create?
I create most of the furniture for my clients. I love designing and building prototypes for them. I think it is a real form of modern luxury.
Can you tell us about a place that does you well in Milan?
Rotonda della Besana is a very quiet oasis in the middle of the busy and loud city of Milan. It is a late baroque building complex located close to the city centre. The complex comprises a wonderful hectagonal colonnade portico enclosing a garden and the deconsecrated church of San Michele ai Sepolcri. The portico was designed by the architects Croce and Raffagno, while the church was designed by Attilio Arrigoni. Over time the Rotonda has been adapted for a number of other uses. Today, it is mainly a leisure area and a venue for cultural events.
I love eclecticism, which means I like all periods.
Credits : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily