Located in the historic heart of Milan, within walking distance from the Duomo and the fashion district, the Mandarin Oriental – whose design was commissioned to the architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel – follows a project strongly rooted in the atmosphere of the city, in accordance with the policy of the hotel group, which, in its over 50 five-star hotels, aims at offering an authentic experience of the local lifestyle, rather than re-proposing a recognizable image. Therefore, a great responsibility was given to the Milanese firm: that of representing the essence of their city, creating at the same time a unique and precious hotel capable of offering an unforgettable stay. The initial project encompassed the restoration of four 18 th -century buildings, located in one of the most elegant areas of Milan. Each building reveals an unusual sample of the most domestic and private aspect of the city, which hides gardens and internal courtyards full of sophisticated details behind its sober façades. The challenge undertaken by the architects was therefore to adapt the existing spaces to their new functions, maintaining and enhancing their authentic elements, so as not to alter their charm and historical value: the façades, courtyards and main architectural elements have been preserved, generating an unprecedented dialogue with the new interior spaces.
This conservative choice led to an irregular layout of the 104 rooms, all different from one another, each of them uniquely characterized by the view, the distribution of spaces and even the height of the rooms. Moreover, the choice to join the four buildings, leaving the possibility of accessing them from various entrances, has made the hotel a welcoming crossroad within the Milanese historic urban fabric. The interior design project has been developed with extreme attention to detail by the Milanese firm, which has adopted the careful use of color and natural materials, such as marble, as the common thread of the entire structure, in a contamination of styles capable, on the one hand, of creating a sophisticated and luxurious environment and, on the other, to convey a domestic atmosphere.