binocle restores 1930s casa corbellini-wassermann to form massimo de carlo gallery in milan

binocle restores 1930s casa corbellini-wassermann to form massimo de carlo gallery in milan

italian-based practice, studio binocle, has undertaken the careful restoration of casa corbellini-wassermann in milan, transforming the 1930s modernist apartment into the ‘massimo de carlo gallery‘. situated within the città studi area of the city, the private residence was originally designed by the renowned milanese architect piero portaluppi. the existing spaces, which are distinguished by the rich use of colored marble, have been lovingly and extensively conserved and renovated, giving the former home a new lease of life while still paying homage to the original design.

all images © delfino sisto legnani and marco cappelletti



located on the first floor of the building, the new art gallery has been transformed by studio binocle over a period of three years. covering a total area of 10,764 ft2 (1000 m2), the project has stripped the original design back to its fundamental elements, highlighting the sumptuous materials that characterize the interiors and providing an ideal backdrop to showcase works of art. the walls, floors and ceilings have all been carefully retained and refreshed, with one of the few interventions being the addition of strip lighting, bringing more light into the interior.



open to the public for the first time, visitors to the art gallery are able to walk through the original modernist design and marvel at not only the new artwork, but also the elegant colored marble of the 1930s residence. from the swathes of green, red, white and dark brown, the original stone flooring acts almost as if to direct and circulate people through the space. upon moving through the rooms, the striking combination of colors gives way to more minimal palette, characterized by freshly painted white walls and ceilings and polished floors. in these pared-back rooms, the marble forms a simple line around the base of the walls and door elements, opening the floor space up for art exhibitions.




project info:


project title: massimo de carlo gallery – lombardia

project location: milan, italy

year: 2016 – 2019

client: MDC S.p.a.

architectural design and construction supervision: studio binocle, lorenzo bini

team: diletta buchetti, giulio giori, andreas noussas, anna pierotello, luca pisaroni, shoji ishijima, marinatangari, cristina tullio

architectural design consultancy: antonio citterio

lighting design: metis lighting s.r.l.MEP

engineering: studio tecnico fumagalli

electrical engineering: studio tecnico locatelli

structural engineer: FV progetti

fire engineering: sicurtecno s.r.l.

security coordinator: studio demichelis

general contractor: restaura s.r.l.

custom lighting manufacturing: aggiolight

photography: delfino sisto legnani and marco cappelletti

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    490,452 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample