When Alexandre-Camille Removille moved from Paris to Milan five years ago, his main concern while searching for a place to live was the view. “The most important thing is what you can look at outside, because this is your window into the world,” Removille says while seated at his workstation in a corner of the dining room. “The view is everything…. I was always looking for something that can give you a perspective.”
Now, to the charming sound of chirping birds, he can see Torre Branca, the landmark designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti, framed by the greenery of Parco Sempione. Natural light pours into his dining room, bathing the warm wooden floors that are left uncovered. Instead of adding a guest room, Removille opted for more living areas to entertain guests. “It’s a very easy place to maintain,” he admits.
Within the 1,184-square-foot apartment that Removille shares with his puppy, an Airedale terrier named Pollock, life looks like a scene from a Luca Guadagnino film. Located inside a 20th-century building, the minimalist home has a quiet sophistication about it. At the same time, it’s full of character thanks to an assortment of conversation pieces that Removille won at auctions, found at flea markets, or sourced from galleries. As the Europe, Middle East, and Africa communication and marketing director of Bottega Veneta, he appreciates good design (and has the superior taste to back it up). Despite this pedigree, the creative isn’t focused on ostentatious decor.
“You don’t want to make your space pretentious,” Removille says. “It’s very hard nowadays for people because they try to represent something, they want to show off.… I don’t care, I just want to feel at home.” With this understated attitude top of mind, Removille worked closely with Studioutte to modernize the space while respecting the building’s original 1920s architecture, which cofounders Patrizio Gola and Guglielmo Giagnotti describe as distinctly Milanese. Leading with a warm and minimal approach, the pair found unique ways to reflect Removille’s personality within the apartment. “It was a constant dialogue with the client,” says Giagnotti. “[Removille] is a collector, so he has a defined idea of the space and what to showcase.”
Thanks to a focus on functionality, every item in Removille’s home plays a role in his creative process. While most people reserve their coffee tables for books, Removille prefers to lay his out on the dining table (a vintage Bentz design by Jeff Miller for Baleri Italia, paired with S43 chairs by Mart Stam). “Having a library sometimes is boring because you can’t see your books,” he asserts—while explaining how he edits the stacks based on his mood. “Also, it’s nice to have something that can be visually driven…. In a way, it’s more dynamic.”
Of course, these aren’t the only books that he turns to for daily inspiration—Removille stores the rest of his collection in the back room by the service stairs, along with his other residences in Paris, Berlin, and New York. He thinks that the design of certain books, like Gaetano Pesce’s Come Stai?, a collectible art book commissioned by Bottega Veneta, deserve to be fully displayed. “This is a book that you need to put on a table, you can’t just put it in a library,” Removille says. But more than the stories told within the pages themselves, the creative feels like the books that we collect paint “a portrait of yourself” as much as the other pieces that build an interior.