A10 – Art Gallery

How can a mixed-use bar/gallery compete and emerge in the consolidated gallery circuit, which kind of experience can it offer? These questions are the project’s starting point. The client’s brief was about a space that can accommodate both a gallery/multifunctional space and a bar. 

The project has been developed following two main strategies:
1. To create a space that is neutral and flexible enough to accommodate the gallery. 
2. To create a bar that doesn’t look like a bar, to “insert” it in the gallery generating an interactive relation between the two different functions.

It’s located at the ground floor of a Social Housing 30’s building. The space has a U shape floor-plan, the front rectangular room faces the canal while the two rear rooms are respectively connected to the back courtyard and to a garden. Based to the space configuration we have pursued 3 main objectives: Maximize the space | Activate the facade | Enhance circulation.

Three main elements occupy the space: two fixed; the bench/display plus the service volume, the third one interactive, the bar volume.

The bench/display runs along the facade, occupying the whole length of the main room except for the entrance door space. It can be used differently depending by the on-going program defining the front store and creating a relation with the street and the passers-by. Loose tables and chairs are placed in front of it providing a coffee-place scenario.

The service volume divides the two exposition rooms generating a sequence of spaces that ends in the private outdoor yard visible from the street but accessible just from inside like a “secret garden”. 

The bar volume is the element that influences mostly the whole space. The rhomboidal volume sticks out from the back of house room; its presence, different for geometry and materials, creates a new condition. It’s a stack of three boxes shifted irregularly in a dynamic composition: the central element moves vertically generating different configurations suiting the multiple uses and needs of the space. It allows to close completely the bar or to play with different heights unveiling the upper volume and its contents. The translucent moveable box is hanged to the upper volume and it’s mounted on motorized tracks that allow it to be positioned differently. The lower and the upper boxes are clad with birch wood panels inlaid with a rhomboidal pattern, a typical Milanese reference.

Exhibition / Gallery


Complete 2012
Demolish 2016

Milan, Italy

Interior 97 m² / Exterior 76 m²


MAR Office

Juarez Corso, Paola Mongiu

Graphic Identity: BBDB Studio
Curator: Doppiozero

Contractor: GI Gestione Immobili
Joinery: Arr. Brenna
Smith: Viganò / Lanfranchi
Electric engine: Ing. Dentoni
Lighting: iGuzzini / Droog Design
Neon Sign: Neoncasale

Photographer: Filippo Poli