As the architect for Prada’s stores, Roberto Baciocchi created an elegant, clean-lined aesthetic. But at home in Tuscany, idiosyncrasy reigns
You might imagine that the man responsible for the look of hundreds of Prada stores worldwide would dwell in an icy Milanese palazzo, the sort of place where modernity and minimalism meet to sip late afternoon double espressos from pristine demitasses. After all, Roberto Baciocchi has spent the past four decades helping Miuccia Prada and her husband, the Prada C.E.O. Patrizio Bertelli, create their empire of cerebral chic.
But those are just the sort of expectations that the architect, 70, finds joy in upending. ‘‘You are surprised I live somewhere like this?’’ he asks, after appearing through a hidden door cut into an upholstered emerald-green velvet wall of his house in Tuscany. His message is crisp, like the winter air: You are as far from the ordered beauty of the Milan fashion scene as you can get and still be in Italy.
A small, prosperous city whose reputation is built on family-owned jewelry factories, Arezzo is Baciocchi’s hometown, a place to which he is staunchly attached. Indeed, despite a crushing international travel schedule (he’s also an architect for La Perla), he has spent the past few decades purchasing and renovating historic structures throughout the area. Today, he owns three homes — a primary residence and two guest houses — which, he concedes, are in some ways as much art installations as they are places to live. […]