Not just one of the most renown Milanese studios dedicated to architecture and design in the world: Piero Lissoni is a symbol of “Italian made”, of a Renaissance vision and a humanistic approach to design, of an attention to detail and a passion for beauty.
Whether it is furniture for the Living Divani and Porro brands or a Boffi kitchen – some of Lissoni’s many collaborations – his design stands out for its sophisticated stylistic refinement combined with an alphabet of signs and nuances that define contemporaneity. With 32 years of history in Milan, and after the opening of the Lissoni® brand in the States, three years later he inaugurated his “design atelier” in the heart of New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. Driven by Stefano Giussani’s passion: “Lissoni® here in New York wants to be a 360-degree design atelier, a “translation” of the Milanese studio with American eyes.” In New York, Lissoni has won a competition for Long Island City’s new aquarium and was chosen to design the interiors of 45 Park Place in Tribeca, a luxury building defined as an oasis on the sky with limited edition residences.
In his first residential tower in Manhattan, with the support of Nicoletta Canesi, the urban landscape and water become key elements: from the kitchen to the bathroom, the icons of New York provide a scenic backdrop for precious materials, Italian made furnishings, and a Boffi kitchen experience. Surrounded by a design shaped by Italian artisans, the amenities are conceived as the natural extension of the residents’ lifestyle: from the Olympic-sized swimming pool covered with mosaic tiles to the yoga studio.
As Stefano Giussani tells us.
Stefano Giussani, how was the Lissoni studio in New York born?
“Founded in Milan 32 years ago by Piero Lissoni and Nicoletta Canesi, we opened our second office in New York concentrating ourselves on interior design. Lissoni® registered in the United States three years ago and is a real atelier where the Italian heritage of making is combined with American culture and where the attention to location becomes the focus of our every creation.
Finishes, woods, stones are always combined differently for each project, diversifying variants and combinations. Here in New York, the studio focuses mainly on interior design, but we have also started to collaborate on important architectural projects supporting US architects, maintaining our “renaissance” and humanistic vision. With interiors, for example, we deal with every single element: from custom furnishings and exclusively for each project to the selection of those “wrong elements” that come from different cultures – accent lamps of the Japanese tradition, vases from Africa or accessories designed by masters of Scandinavian design – together these create a universe of harmonious yet expressive contaminations.”
In the first residential building designed by Lissoni in Manhattan, 45 Park Place, what is the inspiration and which companies were selected for the interior?
“The starting point was the location of 45 Park Place: the Tribeca area and the unique panorama that can be admired from its private residences, a place that Piero Lissoni is particularly attached to. We wanted to create a marriage between this area of Manhattan and our international vision, bringing a typical European home in this spectacular skyline. And within each home a taste of different cultures of the world.
So, as a natural gesture, we chose the color range that distinguishes the Lissoni studio combining it with our creative alphabet that is made of companies for which Piero is art director or designer: from the Boffi kitchens to the Porro brand furnishings and their strong identity. As the customer had requested, the interior had to represent the vision Lissoni and the design codes that characterize the Studio, with an accentuated Italian taste and high-quality materials. The fil rouge that ideally links our every project is given by the choice of heterogeneous combinations, unprecedented contaminations that break the rigidity of the spaces, in an idea of the unexpected.”
What inspires you when you start a project?
“Among the different inspirations – the place, the lifestyle, the light, the local culture – art is certainly a very important factor in our design vision. The reference works are selected by Piero Lissoni and the design team and then proposed to the client with the support of our Studio’s consultants who have been working with us for a long time and perfectly know the Lissoni language.
Already in the first phase of the project, for example, we work in close contact to create a perfect synthesis between design and art. For us it is important to know which works will be part of the project to study in depth the type of lighting or the “protagonism” of the individual elements.”
How does the Lissoni heritage combine with New York and American culture in general?
“It is undoubtedly a constant challenge. Every place represents a strong inspiration for us, for example in the project of a residential tower in San Francisco: we started from the light and the color gradations of this city, transliterating them in chromatic brushstrokes in the interior. And from its culture, the culture of the new generation, with particular attention to the future: each unit is equipped with cutting-edge technology, invisible and silent, designed for speed. We then let ourselves be influenced by the lifestyle with a focus on wellness, well-being and organic food, so we decided to include in the amenities a bicycle workshop, a community kitchen to learn the secrets of cooking, and a community garden. Transferring the city codes to the Lissoni vision.
In Washington DC, where we are working on the interior of a new building for hotels and residences, we are designing interiors looking at important traits of American culture, such as Shaker design, to be reinterpreted according to our alphabet. To keep alive the rich culture of the States, their ideals and their symbols, in the hope of creating a narration between our Italian spirit and local magnificence. In a set of different and unrepeatable flavors.”
433 Broadway, suite 502
10013 New York (NY)
firstname.lastname@example.org – www.lissoni.us