Paola Navone's house, Milan

Project by Paola Navone
Otto Studio
Photos by Enrico Conti
Paola Navone's unpredictable house is suspended on the first floor of a hangar in the Tortona area. Underneath a curved zinc roof, reminiscent of both the Haussmann roofs and industrial architecture, a seemingly endless series of communicating wunderkammer are located one after the other, to be explored by moving the gaze from detail to detail. Navone, as architect, designer, interior decorator and art director, has brought together in this large container objects she "happened upon along the way" during her long nomadic travels. She has gathered them into collections that never cease to amaze for the boldness of their combinations, juxtaposing French ceramics, papier-mâché heads picked up on the street in Singapore and Japanese utensils arranged like sculptures. Every room, starting from the long hall-gallery, is a showcase full of stories and wonders. Her passion for collecting things becomes a veritable installation in the bedroom, at the centre of which an incredible wall rises, - shaped in high relief by a myriad of ceramic artefacts in a thousand shades of turquoise - wrapping itself round the bathroom. Even in the most private area of the house hosts a succession of theatrical coups de théâtre that, in a surreal crescendo, lead from the washbasins made with aluminium woks supported by terracotta vases to the neo-nineteenth-century silhouette of the Admiral Lux bathtub, shrouded in a splendid shell of hand-polished cast iron.