Tour Designer Giampiero Tagliaferri's Avant-Garde LA Atelier

Just as Athena sprang from the head of Zeus completely grown and armed, Giampiero Tagliaferri has emerged on the international design scene as a full-fledged phenomenon—an instant superstar leading a team of 10 from his twin offices in Los Angeles and Milan. Barely two years since the launch of his namesake practice, the dashing Italian-born talent already boasts a roster of major architecture and interior design projects that would be the envy of any industry veteran: the renovation of a Venetian palazzo for a prominent art collector; an LA house for Brunello Cucinelli’s daughter Carolina and her husband, Alessio Piastrelli; a remodel of a prominent Japanese-inspired house in Beverly Hills for jewelry designer Anita Ko; a series of cafés and restaurants for Sant Ambroeus; and other residential commissions in Paris, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas. On the product front, the designer unveiled the first fruits of his newly minted creative alliance with the Italian furniture giant Minotti at the 2024 Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Tagliaferri perched on the movable bridge that glides through the atrium of the former home designed by architect Wes Jones.

Of course, Tagliaferri did not materialize as a go-to tastemaker out of thin air. He spent years as the creative director of the fashionable eyewear brand Oliver Peoples, overseeing marketing, product development, and store design. Indeed, it was the design of the spectacular Oliver Peoples boutique in Milan that proved to be a major turning point in Tagliaferri’s career. “I realized that this was my main passion—creating total environments that marry function and comfort with beauty and imagination,” Tagliaferri says of his decision to strike out on his own. The designer’s singular aesthetic sensibility draws strength and inspiration from Milan and Los Angeles, the two places where he now divides his time. “Milan is a city that hides its beauty. The more you explore, the more extraordinary details you discover,” he explains. “I fell in love with California modernism when I was shooting campaigns for Oliver Peoples in these amazing houses by Lautner, Neutra, and Ellwood,” he continues. “And then there’s the LA light that everyone talks about. It’s intoxicating.”

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Tagliaferri’s Pattie chairs.

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Tagliaferri’s Diagramma coffee table for Minotti.

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Tagliaferri’s Pattie chair in an alternate colorway.

Perhaps the most compelling three-dimensional calling card for Tagliaferri’s vision is the designer’s radically chic atelier located in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood. The building, which once housed a martial arts studio, was transformed by architect Wes Jones into an avant-garde residence for a rock drummer in 1999. Jones’s butch architectural intervention—featuring an exoskeleton of corrugated and expanded metal panels, sliding doors, and a crank-operated bridge that intersects a three-story atrium with a concrete floor—remains largely intact. “The volume of the space is incredible, as is the light. It reminds me of Paul Rudolph’s architectural tectonics,” Tagliaferri offers. The designer leavened the rugged industrial shell with furniture, artworks, and objects that underscore his transatlantic Italy-to-California ethos: Angelo Mangiarotti and John Baldessari; Gae Aulenti and Vanessa Beecroft; Gaetano Pesce and Roger Herman. The considered counterpoise of the raw and the refined in Tagliaferri’s heady, layered ensembles elicits a subtle yet unmistakable frisson of sex appeal, a trait that seems to pervade all the designer’s far-flung projects.

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