The team took a trip to The Alamo Drafthouse this week to see director Ridley Scott’s new movie House of Gucci. Scott uses plenty of artistic license to tell the tragedy of the family who once spearheaded the luxury fashion brand, turning Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver), Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto), and the rest of the players into larger-than-life characters with a healthy dose of camp. One of the most striking elements we found throughout the film were all the scenes that took place in the residence of Paolo’s father Rudolpho Gucci. His home took place in a beautiful villa in Milan known as the Villa Necchi Campiglio.
Built in 1935 by architect Piero Portaluppi and later updated by Tomaso Buzzi and one of Milan’s foremost hidden treasures, the house is a wonderfully accomplished and luxurious example of Italian interwar period architecture. Stark, imposing and compassed by a sprawling garden, the house also accommodates a tennis court and Milan’s first private swimming pool. Conceived as a sort of country house within Milan’s bustling city centre, the choice of location of villa Necchi Campiglio was no coincidence. In the late nineteenth century, the villa’s surroundings were still largely occupied by gardens despite proximity to the city center.
When the land was purchased around 1930, the house’s design was entrusted to the architect Piero Portaluppi, one of the most renowned Italian architects of his time, and construction ensued between 1932 and 1935, courtesy of the Gadola company. Portaluppi was hired to design Villa Necchi Campiglio as a total work of art, reflecting the Milanese high society lifestyle and modern trends of the time – Italian rationalism, fascist architecture and art deco.
Built in 1935 by architect Piero Portaluppi and later updated by Tomaso Buzzi, the property is reportedly home to Milan’s first private swimming pool and operates as a museum today. Cinephiles will recognize it as the house from the 2009 Tilda Swinton film I Am Love. Villa Necchi is considered a work of Rationalist architecture, though Buzzi’s updates have more ornamental features.
One might also recognize this masterpiece of architecture from the movie I Am Love directed by Luca Guadagnino. In 2009 he had long been searching for the perfect location for his film . “I wrote a script that called for a cube of marble with a big staircase and sharp surfaces,” he told T Magazine’s Armand Limnander in 2010. “I was banging my head trying to find a home that suggested great wealth but also a restrained sensibility.” When he finally stumbled across photographs of the abode in a book, he knew his hunt was finally over. “It shows the obsession with perfection and details that the Milanese bourgeoisie have,” he explained. “Old money always comes with great charm. Their real success is making others believe that money doesn’t exist – and luxury, as most people perceive it, doesn’t really exist in this house. It’s very severe, and feels almost unmovable, like a piece of rock.”
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