Modern elegance in a traditional setting. That is exactly what we find in the beautiful Via Lovanio project by Gori & Yoon. With soft colours and textures, stylish materials and exclusive furniture, the designers created a unique and timeless whole.
The still young studio Gori & Yoon saw the light of day in Florence two years ago when partners Elisa Gori and Jaehyun Yoon decided to set up a design agency together. With both architectural and interior projects where innovation, simplicity, sophistication and elegance are central, the Italian architect and South Korean interior designer created a distinctive design style. In their designs they combine tradition with modernity, functionality with elegance and comfort with practicality. Their precise sense of detail and decorative elements results in unique projects. Their beautiful design for a private residence in Via Lovanio in Milan where modern decoration and furniture are in perfect harmony with the traditional elements of the historic house really stood out for us. Elisa Gori told us more about Gori & Yoon and this project in an exclusive interview. How did you get to know each other and how did Gori & Yoon come about?
‘We met in 2012 in an architecture design studio in Florence, where we worked and where we started dating. In 2018, after getting enough experience, we were tired of working as employees, so we decided to start something together in order to have more personal satisfaction. We had different experiences because Jaehyun had specialised in the development of the project concept, in the graphic design technique and in the choice of furnishings and details. While I had experience in architectural design, in the development of technical drawings and site management. We decided to combine our two different experiences and expertise to have a better result, also given by the different cultural backgrounds to which we belong. Now we are a couple in work and in life.’
Do you also dream to work internationally and how do you see yourself growing as a studio?
‘Yes, we are a young studio and we are looking for our own style in order to identify ourselves in it and to create our own language. Just like the design of architectural stars who have an internationally recognisable style. We don’t know when we will finish this research, it may be that we will find our style shortly or we will do this research continuously until we stop this job. The fact that people appreciate our work can already indicate that we are going in the right direction.’
Innovation, simplicity, sophistication and elegance are central.
How do your different Italian and Korean cultures influence your work?
‘We come from two diverse cultures and this in general can influence certain things, but in our work we both speak a common language. Which contains the following: do not follow fixed patterns and be open minded. Because we can take inspiration indifferently from western or eastern cultures, this finds expression in an additional richness in the project.’
How do we recognise a Gori & Yoon interior?
‘We do not want to limit ourselves and we would like each project to be unique and particular. Around us we find many homologated works: modern, vintage, classic, western style, oriental (Zen style), seventies, etcetera. We would like to overcome these specifications in order to identify ourselves in a precise style and create our own language. One of the important things is being able to create a particular project, where there is harmony between colours, objects and furnishings, even if there are different inspirations. This is what offers wealth to a project, starting from an accurate analysis of the context where we have to design.’ What’s your design approach and process?
‘After receiving the assignment for a new work, we carefully study the place where the project will be realised. We want to try and satisfy the client’s wishes and needs, so as a first step we propose our project idea which can subsequently be developed or modified, always respecting our design.’
Was the Via Lovanio project created for a client?
‘The images you see of the project Via Lovanio are the result of our project concept and reflect the result we wanted to obtain. The context was an apartment inside a historic building in the centre of Milan and the client had the intention of renovating it. We have tried to create a contemporary environment with classic inspirations, considering the historical pre-existence of the building.’ How did you mix the old and historic features of the home with a contemporary look?
‘Since we don’t want to limit our language, we created a combination of elements that take inspiration from different places and eras. For example, we have chosen to cover the two armchairs of Gebruder Thonet Vienna with a typically oriental design fabric, while the Tacchini Furniture sofa and the Gubi armchairs, with their remarkable shapes, go well with both a classic and modern environment. We also used some furnishings and objects from the customer to enhance and make the project more particular and personal, such as the vintage Louis Vuitton trunks used as a bedside table for example. To give the environment a warmer atmosphere we chose to use dove grey for the walls and the green colour for the sofa.’
Where did you find inspiration for the colours, textures, materials and furniture?
‘We are very sensitive and curious and we like to observe what surrounds us. For example, during a trip we can be struck by nature or if we are watching a film or we are reading a book we can take inspiration from an image. So, we find inspiration everywhere. Just keep your eyes open and observe.’ How would you describe the result?
‘We don’t decide over the result of our own work but people must judge about the outcome of the projects. In the case of the project Via Lovanio, it seems a positive result to me, because this project has been shared on many social networks and was published in magazines and many design websites. Seeing that our work has been understood and appreciated by people gives us great satisfaction and we can say that we have achieved our goal.’
This interview was originally published in Imagicasa Summer 2020. You can still order this issue on our webshop.
Images courtesy of Gori & Yoon