Via della Spiga’s Nilufar gallery – founded by Nina Yashar, prominent Milan dealer in 20th-century and cutting-edge contemporary design – is a necessary pilgrimage, whether your passion is Giò Ponti or Bethan Laura Wood. In 2012, however, Yashar initiated the project Squat, taking up temporary residence in interesting and beautiful domestic spaces in Paris, Beirut and Milan. The idea is to create a fictional private living space in which the furniture and objects from Yashar’s immense depositories create new resonances, reverberating with the geographical, architectural and social realities of their latest installation. This year, from Tuesday June 7 to Saturday October 15, Squat is coming to London.
Nilufar is setting up home with Shalini Misra, director of the eponymous London-based multi-award-winning interior and architectural design company, and Mehves Ariburnu, creative director of Shalini Misra, in a luxurious corner apartment on Mayfair’s South Audley Street.
The apartment, currently for sale, will provide a distinctive, historic space, animated by the dialogue between star pieces of Italian modernist furniture – for example, a cute geometric Positano dressing table (1959, £13,920, second picture) in sensuous rosewood by Ico Parisi for MIM – and contemporary statement pieces such as Roberto Giulio Rida’s black Settimanile tall chest of drawers (2014, £57,000, third picture), covered in glass spheres a bit like an elegant Dalek, and the outrageous, slightly fetishistic Maurice armchair (2015, £15,240, first picture) by “retro-futurist” Beirut design team David/Nicolas.
There will also be iconic pieces (£4,200-£96,000) by international stars such as Lindsey Adelman, Michael Anastassiades and Massimiliano Locatelli and, alongside luxurious hand-knotted vintage carpets, contemporary handmade carpets, such as Martino Gamper’s witty one-off Carpet Future(2008, £16,680, fourth picture), with its block text “Expected to be or happen at a time still to come”.
Ariburnu’s task is to source artworks that bring out the sensual qualities and distinct aesthetics of both the space and the design pieces on show.
“I have always been keen on creating new and unexpected associations between furniture and space,” says Yashar. Open during the day for browsing, from Tuesday to Saturday, the apartment will also host private events that allow guests to immerse themselves more fully in the experience.