Category Archives: Interesting

Carrer Avinyó by David Kohn is the best interior design project of 2013

INSIDE has just drawn to a close, the international festival of interior design held every two years in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

We are fascinated by the world of interior design, so much so that we have a collection dedicated to it, LAGO Interior, and a project, LAGO Redesigner, which has the aim of building a community of professionals dedicated to creating new living spaces.

The winner of the INSIDE Festival ‘Best Interior Design of 2013′ was ‘Carrer Avinyó’, a flat remodelled by the David Kohn Architects firm in Barcelona. The flat is a holiday home belonging to two brothers originally from that city but now living in Hong Kong.

We liked the project because it unites the world of architecture with that of interior design, weaving a dialogue between interior and exterior, between the home and the city.

carrer avinyo internal view

Located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, the apartment is on the upper floor of a corner building with a triangular plan. Two characteristics that led the development of the interior design.

carrer avinyo david kohn external view

The internal transversal walls, which originally divided the spaces, were knocked down to create a large corner room that exalts the triangular plan. And the triangle itself is the shape that serves as the base module for the mosaic floors, designed in twenty-five variants by David Kohn and produced by Mosaici Martí, who were also the suppliers for Antonio Gaudí. For the concept of this project, the English architect was inspired by the triangular shape of nearby Plaça George Orwell, creating a dialogue between interior and exterior that pays homage to Barcelona.

pattern pavimento

The colours of the flooring pass gradually from red to green, each identifying the private rooms of the two residents. The colours converge and mix beneath the table placed in front of the large windows that open onto the street, which functions as the social focal point of the home. 

pavimento mosaico

The bedroom area is a little city within the house, a wooden tower inspired by a 1950s block of flats designed by the Spanish architect Josep Antoni Coderch nearby in the Barceloneta Quarter. The large wooden furnishings contain the bedrooms, which are connected to the bathrooms by black steel suspended shelving.


The chair of the Inside jury, designer Nigel Coates, explained that the decision to award the prize to Carrer Avinyó was based on the project’s magical quality and the way in which it stimulates curiosity.


Vietnamese coffee: slow and relaxed

For Italians, coffee is the object of national pride, but we are not the only ones unrestrained in its use, and nor are we the only ones who know how to make it. Unexpectedly, last night at the Appartamento Milan Brera, thanks to a lesson in Vietnamese coffee by friends from the RuNam Cafè, we discovered that Vietnam also has a coffee tradition, and it is no less intense than the Italian one.

RuNam cafè

And we learned many interesting things, like the fact that since 2012 Vietnam has been the main exporter of Robusta coffee, and even topped Brazil, more focused on the Arabica blend. And that coffee is the second commodity in the world, after oil.

But that this that surprised us the most is the ritual of Vietnamese coffee, which, a little like tea for the Japanese, is prepared and enjoyed slowly, very slowly. For that matter, RuNam is an expression that mean Ru – stream, litany, lifeline – and Nam – Vietnamese spirit – and perfectly expresses the Vietnamese philosophy according to which enjoyment of coffee requires a comfortable setting, good conversation and above all time, since the little cup fills up one drop at a time.

Mr Khanh

Mr Khanh, the owner of RuNam Cafè, explained to us that, like in Italy, coffee is the main drink in his country. A culture that was lost after the Vietnam War and is now re-emerging. His aim is in fact to reappropriate this tradition.

What do you need for a Vietnamese coffee? It takes very little, really: 25 g ground coffee (around two and a half teaspoons), boiling water, a Vietnamese filter, a measuring cup, a large container for keeping the coffee hot, a few coffee cups (since coffee is best enjoyed in company) and a pretty tray for serving it.

But you also need a lot of time. This is how it is done:

cerimonia caffè

1_Prepare the filter and maintain the coffee cup at the desired temperature

Put both the filter and the cup in the large container, pour boiling water through the filter, to clean everything thoroughly, and let the water drain. At this point, pour 25 g of ground coffee into the filter and gently shake to evenly distribute the coffee.

2_Expand the coffee

Pour boiling water into the cup and put the filter, full of coffee, above the cup in order to help the coffee
in the filter expand. Pour 25 ml of boiling water in the filter, slowing and with a circular movement to help prevent clumps and make any clumps that do form dissolve immediately. Cover the filter and keep cover for 40-45 seconds, until all of the water is absorbed.

3_Press and filter the coffee

After about 45 seconds, the coffee will have expanded to fill about 3/4 of the filter. Use the regulator to gently press the coffee grounds until a small amount of water comes out of the regulator. Pour the water into the cup. Put the filter in an empty cup and very slowly add 70 ml of boiling water in a circular movement. After a few seconds, raise the regulator and pull it back and replace the cover. The coffee will begin to filter into the cup and will be ready after between 5 and 6 minutes. Once the coffee is ready, clean the filter. Move the filter to the small bowl and pour hot water over it, in order to keep it hot until it is time to make the next cup of coffee. Serve the coffee on a tray, not forgetting sugar, condensed milk, ice, biscuits and whatever else you like with your coffee.

It is a long, fascinating process that inspires us to take life slowly, savouring every moment and tasting it thoroughly.

Radiobici, Maurizio Guagnetti’s interview of Daniele Lago

As we promised you last July, here is the video of the interview of Daniele Lago conducted by Maurizio Guagnetti, a Radio 105 journalist, while pedaling through the streets of Milan.


The interview is part of the Radiobici project, for which Appartamento Lago is a sponsor, considering the initiatives’ common values, like culture, sharing and sustainability. And given the travel theme that unites them both: one a journey through the outdoor spaces of Italy, the other a journey through the indoor spaces.

Appartamento Lago Bergamo

Daniele talks about how to grow in times of crisis, designing and producing sense, reopening the question of and rebuilding our Italian identity.

Happy viewing!

Transcription of Maurizio Guagnetti’s interview of Daniele Lago

Daniele Lago: For me, it is fundamental to produce meaning through every action …

Maurizio Guagnetti: And so, Daniele, what does thinking positively mean, doing business in Italy today?

Daniele Lago: For us, it means putting the individual back in the centre.

M: And when they ask you what Lago does, what is your answer?

D: We are trying to reduce the number of divorces, because we think that design is a kind of tool
for improving our impact on the world, for helping it change for the better. If you are talking to me
about atoms and matter … we are making furnishings, we are making furniture, we are exploring
new design frontiers from every point of view. Lago has always tried to build its path on a concept
of transparency and authenticity. We have tried to find new ways of getting the Lago product seen
and we thought that real homes could be an interesting driver, we invite regular people to open
up their personal living spaces … and they become for a year and a half or two years a kind of
ambassador for the brand in the city. Doing business today, especially in Italy, is a venture with a
capital V. In reality, we are growing even in Italy this year … we are growing probably because we
have focused on a series of factors that have proved to be significant.

M: But is this a kind of growth tied to the fact that luxury is growing in Italy or is it something

D: Beyond the fact that we do not position ourselves so high up, I have always sought out, in
the Lago path and process, an extremely noteworthy value-for-money relationship. I believe that
design needs to be concerned with an always increasing number of people, not an exaggerated
niche. La Dolce Vita is dead! What we need is to reinvent what it means to be Italian and also La
Dolce Vita.

M: And so a new way of being Italian?

D: Absolutely yes. We already have an advantage starting out, since, in my view, we have the
fortune of having a great deal of energy, but we really need to put back into motion and reopen
discussion about a lot of things. It is fundamental that there is support from all of the institutions
and a strong will to establish which three adjectives for Italy are the ones that need to be used to
attract. Planet Italy has great workmanship, a great capacity for craftsmanship … and so we are
creating start-ups that put bits and atoms into agreement, but we are trying to keep the atoms
in mind, since otherwise there is a risk of creating a parallel layer that, I think, would be a losing
venture, since creating a Silicon Valley in Italy is unlikely. In the last ten years, sustainability has
taken on a meaning that is almost always tied to environmental impact. I have a broader vision
of the measure in which the whole theme of sustainability is applied on a wide scale: human,
economic, environmental sustainability cannot however be relegated to a human aspect of the
human. In fifteen years of experience with Lago, or twenty, I have developed the idea that when
you work on projects, if these projects have even just a minimal balance between brain, heart
and instinct, they will work. This means that the human being needs X number of things and
sustainability needs X number of things. I am not enamoured with the cultural foundations of
businesses, because I believe that it is a little bit the PLC that need to be a cultural foundation.
It is useless if on one path I don’t look anything or anyone in the face and on another produce
culture. Returning to the theme of the Expo, I believe that there, too, what is needed is an Expo
more connected to processes than to seeing the statement of returns. I believe that what is
needed is a path where one puts into motion a mechanism of change. I was really struck by a
headline on the cover of the magazine for the Pistoletto foundation, which said: “We need to
change our way of changing”. It is in this nuance that the Expo can become an opportunity or one
among many failures.

Art is about you, are you about art?

“ART IS ABOUT YOU, ARE YOU ABOUT ART?”. Dimostracelo! Mandaci una foto, scrivici qualcosa e spiegaci come sei legato all’arte. Chi invierà a la foto o il racconto più singolare, sarà invitato ad Affordable Art Fair per partecipare a una delle due serate speciali che vedranno coinvolta la cucina LAGO.

[Le foto o i racconti vanno mandati a - Oggetto: affordable art fair]

affordable art fair

Affordable Art Fair è la fiera dell’arte accessibile che, dopo il successo della prima edizione italiana, ritorna a Milano dal 2 al 5 febbraio a Superstudio Più in via Tortona 27.

Stavolta ci siamo anche noi. Una delle nostre cucine 36e8 diventerà la protagonista di ARTMEETINGS@cucinaLAGO, una serie di appuntamenti dedicati all’arte e alla cucina che si svolgeranno, in maniera non convenzionale, ogni pomeriggio da venerdì a domenica.

Due le serate speciali:

Mercoledì 1 Febbraio: PRIVATE VIEW ore 18.00-22.00 / solo su invito
Pochi fortunati scopriranno in anteprima tutte le opere d’arte esposte dalle 77 gallerie provenienti da tutto il mondo e Vito Gionatan Lassandro, uno dei tenant dell’Appartamento LAGO Milano Brera, eseguirà una performance ai confini tra arte e food nella cucina LAGO.

Giovedì 2 Febbraio. ART&FLAMES NIGHT ore 18.00-22.00
Galleristi e artisti si sfideranno ai fornelli, attorno alla cucina LAGO, coordinati da un noto chef, Matteo Torretta, Miglior Chef Emergente d’Italia nel 2010.

Partecipa al contest e potresti vincere un biglietto per una di queste due serate!