Armed with a childhood passion for the arts, his attention shifted to architecture at 18. “Reading a book by Paul Klee I was strongly inspired by his quote: ‘the greatest form of art is architecture’”, says the designer. Before establishing his London office in 1989, Silvestrin studied under AG Fronzoni in Milan and later at the Architectural Association in London. In 2002, he co-founded 1+1=1, with partner Giuliana Salmosa, and in 2006, Silvestrin Architects opened another office in Milan. The firm encompasses real estate development, newly built houses, and resorts, art galleries, and museums, domestic and retail interiors. Silvestrin is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including the International Award for Architecture in Stone and the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award.
If clients are an illustration of the architect’s point of view, the likes of Kanye West, Giorgio Armani, and Calvin Klein imply that Silvestrin is forward-thinking, classic, and elegant. In a long-running partnership, the architect has been in charge of revamping Giorgio Armani boutiques worldwide, including stores in Paris, Moscow, and Hong Kong, among others. Organic simplicity infused with ebony and limestone delivers a timeless elegance that uplifts Armani’s aesthetic while still having inviting and user-friendly environments for the brand’s exclusive clientele.
His fondness for serenity makes his residential units the perfect setting for relaxation and contemplation. In Monte Carlo, the P Penthouse showcases the firm’s expertise in both architecture and design. The spacious living room is stretched to maximize views of the sea and the Cote d’Azur while bringing in the light. A vast floor plan and limestone and bronze elements make the unit quite sophisticated but far from cold.
In London, on the 32nd floor of the Shard, the Oblix Restaurant reveals Silvestrin’s inventiveness and design vocabulary. In a novel twist, guests enter Oblix through the heart of the restaurant, the kitchen. This unexpected experience of sight and aromas continue throughout the space. Open windows let in beautiful views and floods of light while clean lines, sandstone, and ebony give the venue a natural, welcoming character that is conducive to fine dining.
Silvestrin has managed to infuse a soul to minimalism, a design genre he doesn’t necessarily relate to. Instead, he believes his work is a reflection of himself, only better. According to Silvestrin, “silence, strength, endurance, decision, serenity, and calmness are present in my character and in my architecture, however, through architecture, I can go beyond my character limitations: for instance, subtlety, finesse, and sophistication in details.” ■