A sequence of ten large vaulted rooms, soberly devoid of decoration and natural lighting

Project data

  • 2008 – 2009
  • Tipology
    Exhibition Design
  • Location
    Milan, Italy – Palazzo Reale
  • Client
    Cosmit Eventi Foundation, Solares Arts’ Foundation
  • Budget
    220.000 € (adjusted to 2013)
  • Total Area/Surface/Volume
    920 sq m


Sometimes, in order to tell the truth, to explain things better, it is necessary to allude only and not to reveal: this is the subtle play enacted in this exhibition design where freedom, play and lightness are triumphant. Furnishings from the great history of Italian furniture are put on display in a “freely-placed” sequence of mobile platforms with backdrops – also built out of black iron – and are placed dramatically under theatrical spotlights.

They do not rest on the floor, nor are they displayed in an orderly fashion along the walls of the rooms to which they must not and cannot belong. And they are placed in juxtaposition with iconic pieces of 20th-century Italian design.

The latter are placed on fixed circular platforms and veiled by an enigmatic screen of stage gauze that goes up conically to the ceiling to capture a light source of alternatingly high and low intensity, which thus hides then reveals them.

Suggesting allusions and ancestries, oppositions and reflections with the magnificence of our antiques.

– Ermanno Ranzani –


Mario Bellini Architects

Design Team
Mario Bellini  with Giovanni Cappelletti

Project Team
Giovanni Cappelletti (project architect ) with Alessandro Zufferli (3D model and render image)

Graphic design:
Italo Lupi
Enrico Colle with Manolo de Giorgi
Lighting design:
Pollice Illuminazione