Elle Decor Italy – September 2021

Four Seasons Hotel in Milan, was published in Elle Decor Italia magazine, in September 2021.

Hotel interior design by Rodrigo Izquierdo Design Studio, in collaboration with Patricia Urquiola.


Welcome to Milan

Patricia Urquiola redesigns the common areas of the Four Seasons Hotel. Which revolve around the cloister-garden of the former 15th century convent. Respecting the past.

text by Laura Maggi — photos by Sara Magni

In the Sala del Camino of the Four Seasons Hotel Milano, the commissioned photographic work by Vanessa Beecroft alludes with great poetry to the first inhabitants of the place, the nuns of the Monastery of Santa Maria del Gesù, founded in the 15th century. The fragments of the original frescoes in the lobby and the granite colonnade in the former cloister recall the ancient use of the building as a place of peace and contemplative life. Today it presents itself as a refined urban oasis, in the heart of the famous fashion district, also open to non-resident guests for lunch breaks, signature aperitifs and gourmet dinners surrounded by the magical atmosphere of the architecture. In undertaking the project to redefine the common areas, Patricia Urquiola, who had already designed the Four Seasons spa in 2011, wanted to “renovate the spaces with great respect for the hotel’s history, in dialogue with the Milanese urban context. I took into account the affection of the many regular customers” explains the architect and designer of Spanish origin, who has made Milan his city of choice.

“The challenge was to reinterpret a place-statement of the city in a contemporary key, placing, at the same time, the accent on the past and on the origins of the building. The common areas of the hotel are places in which his personality is profoundly expressed, through a language of sober colors and pure shapes that refer to the sixteenth-century heritage, studying the relationship between light and spaces and emphasizing the precious original frescoes Contemporary”. Right from the entrance, the wings that delimit the entrance draw a visual telescope that invites you to look towards the cloister with garden, overlooked by the Zelo restaurant, entrusted to chef Fabrizio Borraccino, and the Stilla bar, the realm of the bar manager Luca Angeli , in addition to the suites arranged along the cross-vaulted portico. The reception welcomes guests in a scenographic space, wrapped in wood and glass boiserie around the sculptural counter, designed as a marble monolith.

Many of the furnishings, both fixed and movable, arise from custom-made projects by Studio Urquiola which created, among others, the scenographic installation of lamps to illuminate the restaurant, the structure of the new Winery with super-selected labels by sommelier Lorenza Panzera , the semicircular counter of the Bar Stilla and the external ones in fluted marble of the Stilla Garden and the Raw Bar, dedicated to the tradition of Italian raw fish. In the rooms where a palette of neutral colors dominates, the walls are embellished with bronze inserts and mirrors and with works of art belonging to the hotel’s collection in dialogue with others by artists — Vanessa Beecroft, Sophie Ko, Lello & Arnell.. . — chosen by James Robertson, curator and contemporary art consultant. If the green presences in the interiors are signed by Vincenzo Dascanio, the green project of the cloister is the work of the landscape architect and agronomist Flavio Pollano who carried out an important botanical intervention to create “a garden to be experienced and felt, which arises and surpasses the schemes of the past and, without violating their soul, favors the concept of evolving space, within which it becomes beautiful to live”, he explains. “We have worked in recent months thinking about the city”, concludes the hotel manager, Andrea Obertello, “about how Milan is the cosmopolitan metropolis that the world looks at, where new ideas and trends arise”.


“I wanted to renovate the spaces with great respect for the history of the hotel, in dialogue with the Milanese urban context. The challenge was to reinterpret a place-statement of the city in a contemporary key, placing the accent on the past and on the origins of the building"

Patricia Urquiola

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