The location is quite simply unique. “Terrazza Duomo 21” is the name of the bar in Milan from where one has a special view of the cathedral. It is on the first floor of “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele”, right next to the grand triumphal arch which one passes through when leaving the “Galleria” for the cathedral square. The bar was designed by Massimo Magaldi, and with furniture by Arper the architect has succeeded in combining Italian nonchalance and elegance in such a way and orchestrating the space so naturally that it feels as if the bar has always been there.
Of course, anyone who takes a closer look will recognize that we are in the 21st century. Nonetheless, at first sight “Terrazza Duomo 21” resembles the cool bars and cafés in films featuring Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg, Marcello Mastroianni and many others, who defined the image of the “dolce vita”, the sweet life in Italy. Chairs such as the “Leaf Chair”, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper go superbly; in its lightness it is reminiscent of the classics of mid-century design, but with its irregular leaf-structure backrest reveals that it is not 20th century after all, but very much present day. There would probably have been no sign either in the public domain in the 1950s and 1960s of the circular seating called “Pix”, designed by Ichiro Iwasaki for Arper. Here it gives the impression of a spur-of-the-moment, unconventional party venue. Massimo Magaldi combined the elegant, light “Leaf” steel furniture on the terrace with solid-looking poufs.
On the inside too it is the tactile contrasts and the successful, slightly formal-looking combination of different furniture that define the interior design. The view and the splendor of the building provide the perfect backdrop for furnishings that are as elegant as they are reduced – the “Catifa” chairs and “Loop” sofas, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper.
With a contemporary concept Massimo Magaldi has reconciled the ostentatious 19th century of the Galleria with the spirit of present-day design and has created a place of timeless beauty. And to that one should drink a Prosecco or a Negroni in style. With a view of the cathedral of course. (rw)
Poise and elegance: Massimo Magaldi fitted out the historical interior of the bar with modern furniture like the Catifa 46 chair by Arper, while on the terrace the seating from the Leaf range combined with the circular poufs "Pix" creates a relaxed atmosphere. Photos © Marco Covi
Modern classics: The furniture’s lightweight structures and elegant silhouettes of the "Loop sofa", the "Catifa 60" chairs, and the "Ply" Table, follow in the tradition of Italian design since the 1950s. Photo © Marco Covi
The “Leaf Chair” by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper calls to mind the structure of a leaf with its irregular rod pattern in the backrest. Photo © Arper
“Ply” designed by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper is a three-legged stool or table made of bent plywood. Photo © Arper
The upholstered seating of the “Saari” collection is available in various heights and sizes both as a sofa and as an armchair or chair. Photo © Arper
Available in many different sizes and colors: The “Pix” seating modules by Ichiro Iwasaki for Arper. Photo © Arper