Nanushka Meets

Villa Clea

Introducing Allina & Matteo Corbellini

Nanushka Meets Allina & Matteo Corbellini, founders of Milan based Art Space and Residency, Villa Clea.  

Today, Matteo works as an architect and manages the creative, visual, and social direction of Villa Clea, while Allina paints, writes, and manages the cultural programs.

1. What was the space originally used for before you took it over? Did the origin story of the building play apart in creating the concept that it is now?

Matteo: I discovered the space when it was an abandoned former car workshop. By completely reconstructing the building, I created an architectural space capable of generating a fluid and inclusive environment that can function differently each day. 

Allina: The aim is to offer a familiar and informal environment for a community, while promoting contemporary art and supporting young and emerging artists. It is truly a home, where we ourselves live, and thus we offer a non-institutional atmosphere.

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Allina wears the Jeren Paper Crochet Tank Top and Wardon Paper Crochet Wide-Leg Pants

Matteo wears the Estienne Crochet Lace T-Shirt

2. As the Villa has quite a minimalist, naturalist approach, what form of organic inspiration did you look at as design references?

Matteo: The architecture is philosophically essential with a touch of mediterranean hedonism. The heavy system of an organic mono-material construction is balanced by the lightness of the openings and of the curtains, which are able to shift the setting at any time. I call my actual approach to architecture ‘a raw wholeness’, and Villa Clea is a manifesto of those intentions.

Matteo wears the Estienne Crochet Lace T-Shirt

3. What feeling do you aim to create when hosting guests? How do you seek connection with others through their stay?

Allina: Villa Clea offers artists a moment of non-productivity, an opportunity to observe their work in a different context. It is somewhere between a home and an exhibition space, and a pretext for human connection and direct dialogue. Artists who exhibit live at Villa Clea for a short period of time. During which we get to know each other, collaboratively set up the exhibition in the domestic setting of the house, communicate about it, and engage with the community together. 

Allina wears the Asher Merino Wool Top,
Josine Slip Satin Baggy Pants and Buju Mesh-Knit Square Toe Slip-On Shoes

4. How did both of your backgrounds in the interior/architecture and art world lead you to creating the Villa Clea artist residency?

Matteo: I worked internationally for acclaimed architectural offices and then I obtained a PhD in Architecture. I'm interested in the power of the community that architecture can create and stimulate, and Villa Clea is in various senses a starting point.

Allina: Villa Clea art residency seeks individuals who have the courage to escape rigidness, who live freely to explore art and contemporary life without seeking legitimacy within groups and affiliations.

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