Audemars Piguet, the pinnacle of hospitality

Audemars Piguet opens its new AP House in Milan, Italy. The new AP House Milano boasts five floors of watchmaking wonders, in a cross-disciplinary space, a hybridized place that blends history, heritage, the watchmaking skills of the Swiss Maison born in 1875, and all the aspects of the Milanese way of life – its design, its cuisine, its music, and its arts. The whole experience culminates in a magical virtual reality journey.

By Florence Halimi

It all started in 2017, in Milan, when Audemars Piguet considered the recommendations of its most loyal customer to create the first AP House. The idea was to create a space for the high watchmaking aficionados that might have been imagined by the Maison’s founders Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet, had they been alive today. The concept was so popular that it spread across the world, settling in over twenty cities including Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Zurich.

Now, Audemars Piguet comes full circle and opens its second AP House in the capital of Lombardy, on Milan’s very chic Via Bagutta, in the equally chic Traversi garage. This historic building was the city’s first multi-storey car park, now entirely refurbished to enhance its Rationalist architectural style, and is already home to a Louis Vuitton boutique.

Andrea Cardillo, General Manager Italy of Audemars Piguet, announced that
 ‘It is an honour to inaugurate our new AP House in the very prestigious and iconic Traversi Garage, a space that reflects Audemars Piguet’s commitment to preserve and showcase past and present local craftsmanship’ and added that ‘The new Milan AP House is back to bring a bold and contemporary vision to the original concept, launched here in 2017.

AP House Milano, a monumental cross-disciplinary space

Indeed, the floor space of this AP House is immense: 1,650 square meters spanning five floors (the 5th to the 9th floor). The interior decoration is contemporary in style and signed Piero Lissoni, the master of Italian design.

Lissoni explains his approach: ‘Audemars Piguet gave me the building blocks of the project, outlining its various facets to imagine a hybrid space that could be at once a home and a club, a place to read or enjoy culture and food. A place to discover watches, but not always and not only. Above all, a place inspired by Milan and its history. It was with this narrative in mind that I began to design this project.

With its wood, glass, and metal features, this AP House evokes the Valley de Joux in Switzerland, the birthplace of Audemars Piguet and hotbed of the finest watchmaking. The Lissoni & Partners studio decorated the space with colourful furniture, both vintage and contemporary among the collections of great Milanese designers such as Ettore Sottsass, Achille Castiglioni, or Franco Albini.

Cutting-edge technology serving the arts

The spiral staircase, which links the different floors, evokes the hairspring of a watch. Spiraling upwards, you will find yourself on the rooftop with a 360° panoramic view of Milan.

As you continue your journey through the AP House, you can gaze at the artwork lent by the Francesca Minini Gallery – partner of the Audemars Piguet Art Commission– and enjoy the very best that the watchmaker has to offer. Each visitor can customize his or her experience, picking from activities such as relaxing or enjoy a meal in the lounge space, watch fist-hand the intricate work of Audemars Piguet’s watchmakers in action, and visiting the exhibition floor dedicated to contemporary and historic timepieces displayed within a futuristic showcase.

The most cutting-edge technology also plays a prominent role in the show and is best exemplified by the immersive virtual reality experience dubbed The Clockwork Forest. Created in conjunction with Dreamscape Immersive, this whimsical amble through the dense forest of gears and spirals of Audemars Piguet’s famous timepieces is like entering a new dimension where you can observe the flow of time.

AP House Milano, Via Bagutta 2, Milan, Italy.


Click here to discover the full technical sheets of Audemars Piguet watches.