Creating a timeless design that the residents can enjoy for decades to come. That was the intention of Albano Daminato for MJ Residence. The relaxed and understated interior lends itself perfectly to coming together with friends and family, but also offers sufficient privacy and is therefore the ideal place to escape the sometimes busy and demanding life.
Imagicasa spoke with Albano Daminato who founded his own agency almost twenty years ago and since then has worked on numerous commercial and residential projects all over the world. With Studio Daminato, which has offices in Bangkok and Singapore, he takes a holistic approach to creating spaces that radiate peace and tranquillity and which can serve as a kind of refuge for the client. He is aware of the influence architecture and design can have on our well-being – with a bachelor's degree in design, majoring in Human Environments, this focus shouldn't come as a surprise. An all-encompassing approach in which all elements are attuned to each other and contribute to the same goal is of course very important in his work. The designer is therefore usually involved in every stage from envisioning the general design concept to developing bespoke furniture, lighting and textiles down to the smallest detail. “The results are meticulously crafted environments and products that are unique to each client and location,” says Daminato. Close cooperation with the customer is very important for this, and this type of project often takes a long time to realise, but the satisfaction during and after the entire design and construction process will just be that much better. ‘Projects are journeys, and very often ones that take years to execute. So, it is important that we take on work that is both rewarding and inspiring for both us and the clients,’ explains the designer. One such project is MJ Residence, a sanctuary for several members of the same family to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet during the summer but also during the colder seasons. The bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms, the intimate libraries and study rooms offer a place of silent seclusion. The more communal areas allow social interaction for gathering with friends and family. "The project includes many fitness facilities such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basement level squash court, outdoor tennis court, spa/massage rooms and steam rooms, gymnasium and yoga/meditation room and home hairdressing salon – it really is about home wellness and care at its best. Various games rooms and a large private cinema ensure all members of the family are catered for," Albano Daminato tells us.
“A project that is both rewarding and inspiring, both for us and for the clients”
From the first meeting with the customer to finalising the last details of the interior, Daminato spent about five years working on this unique home. It is one of the biggest projects the designer has been able to work on with his studio so far and he tells us very enthusiastically about the pleasure and satisfaction he still feels to this day. We at Imagicasa think that the result is indeed worth it, and we are happy to put it in the spotlight here. ‘The clients came to us looking for a sophisticated, aesthetically understated and calming home, that would provide a relaxed ambiance for modern day living. Large panels of sliding glass open effortlessly onto expansive terraces and private balconies – giving views out to the water body and mountains beyond, or more intimately, inwards to private landscaped courtyards and gardens,’ says the designer. What definitely contributes to creating the right atmosphere is the neutral material palette of beige limestone (imported from Italy) and various natural marbles. These are complemented by walls of timber panelling (both oak and primarily walnut), Venetian plaster render and fabric textiles panelling that provide a warm, tactile backdrop in every space. We also see floor textiles and custom design rugs in natural materials such as wool, silk, jute, hemp and nettle. As for the furniture, we can spot some mid-century icons. Albano Daminato tells us the following about this choice: ‘Yes, we have many pieces in the home by Scandinavian masters such as Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner. Along with that, some strong timber pieces by George Nakashima feature in the home. These pieces, for me, are forever timeless. They are elegant, sinuous, organic and so welcoming, aesthetically and physically – and their use of timber brings warmth and delight to any space, in my opinion. Their “neutrality” also lends itself perfectly, blending in with other styles of furniture.’ We can believe that a lot of time and work has been put into the realisation of this project, but what we see radiates the utmost peace and harmony. What a great example of the talent and insight of Albano Daminato. Want to learn more about this designer? Be sure to check out our full interview with him as published in the issue Imagicasa Autumn 2020.
Photography by Joe Fletcher