Umberto Riva, Casa Insinga, Milan, Italy, 1989

Umberto Riva, Casa Insinga, Milan, Italy, 1989

Umberto Riva, Casa Insinga, via Arena 37, Milan, Italy, 1989. (view on google maps)

It is a single-person apartment renovation located in Porta Ticinese neighborhood.
The flat is located at a corner house, with eight windows overlooking the streets (kitchen, living room, bedroom) and seven windows looking at the court yard (corridor, living room, master bedroom and bathroom).

“Riva’s design shapes a progression toward a large living room, the apartment’s hinge and center of gravity. At the entrance a metal coat-and-hat rack is wedged between the door and a curved wall, which encloses a spiral staircase leading to a terrace on the roof.
Oak partitions set at slightly different angles, sometimes lined with shelves, delineate a path passing by the kitchen and other services on the left. To the right, an angular, extendable locust-wood table attaches to the wall; this table and a dark bent-metal custom fireplace organize the living area. Ridges on the plaster ceiling and clear and coloured glass panels above doorways pull light into the apartment, and toward bedrooms in the back.” – The Plan of Casa Insinga, at CCA

An pivotal piece of furniture is the freestanding fireplace covered with a panel in molded sheet metal behind which a library is quite hidden as to keep the space ordered and preserved. In the same way most of the house furniture become equipped walls that host and enclose closets, libraries and heating system. The ceiling, where a corner occur since the plan turns, details in plaster are highlighted.
To stress upon the importance that detail used to have for Riva, is interesting to notice the marble pattern in the floor that he personally designed (realized by Fantini, Milano).


Reviewed March 2017 by:

Sofiane Décombas-Deschamps

Darija Malesevic

Valentijn Veragten

Lode Borghs