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Villa Necchi Campiglio

I have watched the film 'I am Love' directed by Luca Guadagnino so many times I've lost count. Tilda Swinton's wardrobe, designed by Jil Sander is ultimately Milanese minimalist modernity at its best, but for me the real star of the film is the Villa Necchi where most of the film is set. Last week whilst in Milan checking on production I went on a guided tour of the property. I quickly realised that my guide (Paolo) and I didn’t have anything in common and after 5 (very long) minutes I escaped to explore the architecture and interiors alone - poor Paolo, but the man was killing my buzz.

Designed by Piero Portaluppi, Villa Necchi was built between 1932 and 1935 for the industrialist sisters Gina and Nedda Necchi (manufacturers of enamel sewing machines) at the height of rationalist architecture. At the time Villa Necchi was a modernist palate cleanser in a city full of ornate palazzos.

The focus of the design is practicality and ease, but it's the exact use of sumptuous quality materials that blew my mind - marble (in many colours), walnut, hide and and abundance of polished steel and brass. The sliding double doors on the ground floor are works of art with different designs in walnut and steel, cleverly they slide away to increase the sense of flow throughout. The conservatory, a green oasis, has in-built glass boxed walls housing ferns, the ultimate room of tranquility and calmness - I could have sat there all day.

Upstairs the corridor of closets running between the bedrooms and bathrooms are particularly beautiful - eight in total (I need eight closets immediately) And then there are the bathrooms - completely marbled, each one complete with 10 feet high shower closets with circular steam vents brilliantly positioned to let in light.

I came away with an inspired mind, full of new colour palettes, a sense of how to use lavish materials in a minimalist way and of course Tilda as Emma in 'I Am Love' - stylishly navigating a glamorous but disastrous family life in this glorious Villa. Let's see where 'A Bigger Splash' takes me next.


Villa Necchi Campiglio is open to the public Wednesday - Sunday.

Via Mozart 14, Milano.



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