Interiors I by

Caffè Fernanda recalls 1950s Milanese glamour

Modernism meets classicism inside Pinacoteca di Brera’s new eatery, Caffè Fernanda in Milan.

The building was bomb damaged during WWII and was rebuilt by Piero Portaluppi in 1950 under the instructions of the gallery’s director Fernanda Wittgens. She lends her name to its new cafe, designed by local practice Rgastudio.

Caffè Fernanda recalls 1950s Milanese glamour
Photography: Michele Nastasi

Caffè Fernanda occupies the gallery’s former entrance hall. Rgastudio has given its walls a bold petrol blue hue that offsets classical columns and artworks including Pietro Damini’s 17th-century painting, the ‘Conversion of the Duke of Aquitania’, which hangs above the bar.

Caffè Fernanda recalls 1950s Milanese glamour
Photography: Michele Nastasi

Marble floors and Lepanto-red frames inherited from Portaluppi’s project have been recovered by Rgastudio, and the practice has coupled them with a ribbed walnut and antique brass bar, and midcentury-style wooden furniture inside the Milan restaurant.

Caffè Fernanda, Via Brera, 28, Milan

Caffè Fernanda recalls 1950s Milanese glamour
Photography: Michele Nastasi
Photography: Michele Nastasi

Read next: The best London restaurant openings of 2018 for design lovers

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