casatibuonsante architects
Eventually romantic
Milan, IT

Founded in Milan in 2017 by Antonio Buonsante and Federico Casati, casatibuonsante architects tackles architecture and design at different scales, from domestic landscape to urban dimension. casatibuonsante architects aims to define a generic architectural model which, sporadically adapts to specific client and market requests, without sacrificing coherent, ethical, shared and accurate results.

Creating a strong basis
Before forming our professional duo we experimented with the larger and less defined form of a collective (Fosbury Architecture), in which many members (eight at that time) would contribute towards shaping a shared idea of architecture. Then we started to feel the urgency of testing the potentiality and limits of our ideas through construction. That is when we decided to found a new practice; one that would be more oriented towards a pragmatic approach. However, the experience of the collective was a very rich, albeit complex, experience that in some way set forth the basis for our further research into architecture’s realm as an office: domestic spaces and their strict relation with the urban space. We are still very intrigued by the tension between private and collective spaces and how they may influence each other.

A simple first taste
Our very first commission came in an unexpected way while we were still painting ceilings and choosing chairs for our first office as a collective. Once a carpenter, who had his own workshop at the next door, passed by saying his client needed an architect: he wanted something nice this time. It wasn’t anything fancy at all, rather a relatively small pub in the suburbs of Milan. That was the first chance that we had to work on a project together. Within the span of a single weekend, we delivered the design concept, done on a cold marble table in the kitchen of the flat one of us was sharing at the time with another Milanese collective: Parasite 2.0. After all, for us architecture has always been primarily a service, delivered in a reasonable amount of time and remunerated by a reasonable amount of money; a profession before being a vocation. The owner of the pub (and many other clubs in the city) is still nowadays one of our clients.

The discipline of the craft
We tend to organise our professional life in a rigorous way: we start at 09.30, have a lunch break at 13.30 and end at 19.30 trying not to stay longer in the office, except for meetings with clients or urgent delivery. Probably the fact that we grew up professionally in a city like Milan also formed our vision of our profession. We are very fascinated by Milanese masters such as Mattioni, Magistretti, Riva, Caccia Dominioni: we admire their way of looking at the profession as something very serious, discreet, an intense self-improvement exercise.

Office surface typologies
We started in a large open space in a basement with no heating system and we ended up in a former medical office on the first floor of a residential building. Some might say that we've let ourselves be fascinated by the subtle charm of the bourgeoisie and perhaps it wouldn’t be so wrong. The fact is that in order to perform a professional service you need the correct space that matches your modus operandi. We have two rooms with natural north light and two large tables: one for working (that gets very messy very quickly) and one for meetings (always clear). In our bookshelves we have books (not as many as we would like) and samples (way too many).

An inclination towards domesticity
We are very fascinated by the domestic environment, probably due to the fact that it is one of the sphere’s of architecture most related to human feelings, their ambitions and ambiguities. Even if we try to keep a very objective approach to the project, we always tend to design spaces with a meaning for their dwellers. We can say we are quite satisfied with our commissions. Even if the Milanese panorama remains one that is quite static, allowing emerging practices to work mainly on apartment renovations for the first years, it happens to be something that we very much enjoy. Needless to say, we consider every scale worthy of interest and tend to accept every kind of commission.

Rural space for experimentation
We’re now approaching the topic of new construction with a villa project in the south of Italy. That is perhaps the biggest challenge of the studio up to now. We are eager to expand our research into all different scales of residential projects and in order to do so we’re moving towards more fertile markets outside the Milanese geography. One of us is now living between Milan and the South of France and that gave us the chance to work on different projects of expansion. The goal would be to work more and more in suburbs and the countryside, far from urbanised centres, where you have more space as an architect to test your ideas through construction.

Francesca Iovene casatibuonsante architects portrait Federico Casati

Francesca Iovene Alcove House Federico CasatiPhotography Francesca Iovene

Louis de Belle casatibuonsante studio Federico Casati

Louis de Belle Doctors House Federico CasatiPhotography Louis de Belle

Piercarlo Quecchia DSL Studio Workshop House Federico CasatiPhotography Piercarlo-Quecchia

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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