Decades before shoebox apartments became more commonplace in cities, the Ettore Sottsass-designed Casa Lana was crafted as an ingenious solution to a compact floor plan; it's now displayed as a permanent installation at Triennale Milano, a design museum in Italy

Long before the idea of a multifunctional interior became commonplace, celebrated Italian architect Ettore Sottsass had already designed an apartment with such versatility in mind.

First conceptualised in 1965, Sottsass envisioned Casa Lana as “rooms within a room” for lithographer and painter Giovanni Lana. Now, this iconic work has been faithfully reconstructed as a permanent installation at Triennale Milano, an art and design museum in Milan, Italy.

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The space demonstrates Sottsass' clever spatial tricks
Above The space demonstrates Sottsass' clever spatial tricks
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A colourful corridor within the apartment
Above A colourful corridor within the apartment

This interior concept offers clever solutions to a compact floor plan while creating a cosy haven; and many of these ideas are still highly relevant to contemporary small apartments.

A central wooden structure creates sections for various activities, including a central seating area for socialising and other leisurely pursuits; Sottsass himself described it as “a little piazza is created, where one can move and meet”.

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Art and architecture is presented through bright bursts of colour
Above The.cleverly-designed compact space demonstrates the concept of 'rooms within rooms'

The wooden structure also cleverly incorporates cupboards, shelves, and foldable tables that can be tucked away when not in use. Its use of geometric motifs and colourful soft furnishings connects to the playfully exuberant design language of the Memphis Group, the iconic design collective from the eighties that Sottsass had co-founded.

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Bespoke cabinetry works can be found throughout the space
Above Bespoke cabinetry works can be found throughout the space

Besides getting up close with this inspiring interior, visitors will also get to learn more about the design legend’s creative process through a series of accompanying exhibitions led by curator Marco Sammicheli.

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A series of exhibitions led by curator Marco Sammicheli will also offer a peek at other clever designs by Sottsass
Above A series of exhibitions led by curator Marco Sammicheli will also offer a peek at other clever designs by Sottsass

Credits

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Triennale Milano

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