Stepping into a classic Milanese apartment is always a treat. Past the portiere, across the ancient courtyard and through the requisite set of double doors you’ll often find something spectacular. Soaring ceilings, intricately patterned floors and charming-if-not-slightly-mystifying floor plans are all hallmarks of Milan’s residential gems.
But what about stepping into the Milanese apartment of one of the city’s hottest young design duos? Aside from gorgeously curated vintage furniture and design pieces, a medley of curiosities collected from around the globe and, of course, the requisite lofty ceilings, you’ll find Fanny Bauer Grung — perfectly welcoming and chipper despite a case of hard-earned jet lag.
This will not be the last time you hear about Fanny Bauer Grung. The much buzzed-about architect has everything in place to make 2017 her breakthrough year. She’s known on the Milanese design circuit for her work with architecture firm Quincoces-dragò & partners, which she runs with her partner in work and life, Spanish-born David Lopes Quincoces. The firm has made waves for their perfectly sparse, painstakingly sympathetic renovations, interiors filled with exactingly sourced vintage design pieces, understated colour palettes and rich materials. “People describe us as minimal,” Grung says of her design style. “But we’re not. We use a lot of vintage pieces with a lot of warmth.”
“I got in late last night from New York,” admits The Norwegian architect and designer — born in Paris, raised in Rome, educated in London and Portugal and now based in Milan — she’s used to a bit of nomadism. “It’s ok,” she jokes, “the camera flash is waking me up.” When we arrive, Grung is bedecked in full architect’s uniform: black trousers, black jumper and serious dark-rimmed glasses, but — when she emerges from changing into her first look for the day’s photos — the monochrome ensemble is barely a memory. With waist-length natural blonde hair and a willowy stature not out of place on a catwalk, the Scandinavian designer looks right at home in the breezy floor-length Missoni gown she’s picked out.
At the moment, Grung is on the long-awaited precipice of releasing a barrage of hotly anticipated projects into the world. The first, a gallery and concept space named Six — which will have a preview at Salone, but properly open in June — that includes a bistro and florist attached to their Via Scaldasole office. “The gallery has been a dream project since forever,” Grung says of the impending opening, “to have my own little world and vision in one space and be able to constantly change it. That’s huge.” The second, a line of furniture that she plans to release in 2018. Both gigs she’s taken on in the spare time she finds between her regular design projects, which at the moment include a series of cafes in New York and Miami (hence the jet lag) and a member’s club in Tuscany.
If you’re lucky enough to snag an invite, there’s nowhere better to witness her and her partner David’s aesthetic in full force than their own perfectly arranged home, just steps from Milan’s imposing Castello Sforzesco. Grung describes the space as “a collaboration between all the creative people we know.” Which is fortuitous, because those creatives include furniture designer Pietro Russo, whose larger than life iron bookshelf sits pride of place in their living room, and Piero Lissoni (Grung and her partner Quincoces met while both working for his firm), who made their dining room table. The house is halfway between design mag and diary, with iconic pieces sitting alongside more personal objects, like paintings by David’s mother. “The design came very naturally,” Grung explains of the subtlety eclectic space, “There are stories behind everything.”
Six Gallery’s preview will be open from April 7th-9th in via Scaldasole 7