Lazzarini & Pickering, The Montecarlo Apartment, 1997

Lazzarini & Pickering, The Montecarlo Apartment, 1997

Lazzarini & Pickering, The Montecarlo Apartment, 1997

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Established in 1982, Lazzarini Pickering Architetti is a design oriented practice headed by Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering. The studio has developed an international reputation for continuously innovative design concepts in many areas from architecture, nautical, furniture and graphic design.

This is an example of a design solution to provide a habitat which is like a retreat away from home and work, for today’s businessman.

Lazzarini Pickering’s brief, for a businessman who spend a few days a week in Monaco, was simply to design a ‘beautiful hotel room’, purposefully separated from family life and entertaining. The client gave them free reign, and did not meet them during the design process, communicating only long distance.

Perhaps inspired by this mysterious approach, the primary concrete load-bearing wall has been broken down into elements that serve to conjure, trick and surprise: glowing shelving units lit internally by colored gelatin lights, a swivelling mirrored surface producing an infinite variety of reflected images, portals lined in stainless steel. These are glamorous interventions, verging on kitsch.

The kitchen, bathroom and wardrobes were inserted as pure volumes into the shell of the apartment, and the balcony was treated as an integral interior space. A panoramic view over the bay is framed by slicing a horizontal aperture, which returns into the solid flank in a strip of reflective material. This dissolves the wall by appearing as a continuation of the window (blue by day and black at night). Lazzarini Pickering felt able to use delicate materials that would not withstand the rough and tumble of everyday family life and, besides the glamorous under tones, the overwhelming impression of the project is of an elegant and peaceful interior, a haven from hectic schedule, and a space that is infinitely trans-formable by virtue of a few illusive spatial elements.


Dardi, Domitilla. Giorgi, Emilia. 2014. Lazzarini Pickering architects. Macerata : Quodibet.

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Reviewed by:

Rémi Farwati, Elena Giannitsopoulos, Nadir Bouchene, Adela Plasilova, March 2017