Artemest Brings the Hidden Waters of Milan to the Surface

Artemest Brings the Hidden Waters of Milan to the Surface

Walking up to Senato Hotel Milano, you think the same thing you think when walking up to pretty much any building in the city: Stunning. The bright white Neoclassical facade with leafy-green ivy draping over the balconies has all the sophisticated charm and romance you expect from the Italian metropolis. Once upon a time—for more than a century in fact—four generations of the Ranza family lived here, until they decided to turn their five-story private residence into a boutique hotel.

Once you step inside, though, you’re instantly transported. Architect Alessandro Bianchi imbued the interiors with marble, wood, and brass details, from the lobby to the cafe and out to the terrace. But it’s the central courtyard at the entrance that’s perhaps most entrancing: a shallow pool clad in slate-gray stone whose watery oasis nods to the Naviglio Grande canal that once flowed in front of the building. It proved to be the perfect spot for Artemest’s museum-inspired sensory exhibition during the return of Milan Design Week: AQVA.

Bespoke sculptures and objects inspired by the theme of water and handmade by Italian artisans rose from the pool—conjuring images of ancient sunken cities now resurrected. A bronze fragmented version of the head of Venus by Fonderia Artistica Ruocco. Metal monoliths by Anna Paola Cibin. A swinging velvet armchair embellished with ostrich feathers by Monica Gasperini.

It was a fluid reverie: a play of light, reflection and sound celebrating the importance of water as a source of life and energy.

View of objects and sculpture in water in a dark space, AQVA by Artemest Milan Design Week

THE ART OF SCENT

But Artemest didn’t stop at the art of water. The curators of bespoke Italian design continued over to the iconic fragrance house Acqua di Parma, where they collaborated on a limited-edition gift set made by Italian artisans. Maria Giannini, of Giulio Giannini & Sons (multigenerational bookbinding artisans based in Florence since 1856), hand-designed the gift box using the ancient technique of paper marbling. Carrara Home Design custom-made white Carrara and black Marquina marble candle holders. And an Italian Moments candle in one of three scents—Buongiorno, Luce di Colonia and Oh, L’Amore—completes the set.

“We are proud to partner with Artemest in showcasing the best of Italian excellence to the world, a collaboration that rings true to our Maison’s values in perpetuating the Italian Arte di Vivere, a philosophy that embodies everything we love about Italy,” says Laura Burdese, CEO and President of Acqua di Parma. “Artemest’s mission in working with artisans is something that we truly identify with. We have always strived for the continuity of craftsmanship through our work preserving traditional artisanal methods and securing the future of these craftsmen and their exceptional historical heritage.”

Photo courtesy Artemest x Acqua di Parma

We’re never not in pursuit of European design. Check out more of our favorite finds in “Ciao Bella! Supersalone With Our Friend Cara Woodhouse.”

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