The Paper Nest: Innovative Apartment Design for Book Lovers

Discover The Paper Nest, an apartment in Milan, Italy, designed by Icona Architetti Associati in 2020. This space uniquely merges architecture and bibliophilia, offering a comforting and familiar environment through the metaphor of a nest lined with volumes of books. Aimed at accommodating an extensive personal library, this project exemplifies how design can adapt to the specific lifestyle and passions of its inhabitants, making every corner a tribute to the written word.

Modern living room with sofa, bookshelf, and dining area.
Modern study room with bookshelves, a desk, chairs, and an oval
Chic dining space with marble table, gold pendant light, and greenery.
Modern kitchen with hanging lights, white cabinetry, and a bookshelf.
Cozy reading nook with herringbone floor and 3D wall tiles
Contemporary children's play corner with pastel walls and geometric patterns.
A cozy nursery room with a white crib, decorative rug, and gray walls with
Contemporary bedroom with teal walls, framed art, and built-in shelving.
Sleek bathroom with freestanding tub and marble walls.

About The Paper Nest

Reimagining Living Spaces: The Paper Nest

Icona Architetti Associati unveiled a revolutionary approach to apartment living with The Paper Nest in Milan, Italy. Conceived in 2020, this project stands as a testament to how architecture can encapsulate not just the essence of its dwellers but also their passions. Amidst Milan’s bustling heart, this apartment takes the concept of a living space and elevates it, creating a sanctuary that is both homely and intellectually stimulating.

A Tribute to the Literary World

Dubbed as a haven for bibliophiles, The Paper Nest transforms the traditional notion of a home into an immersive experience that centers around books. Every inch of the apartment, from the kitchen to the master bathroom, features meticulously designed shelves brimming with thousands of volumes. The centerpiece, a full-height bookcase that effortlessly opens and closes, orchestrates the fluidity between various living spaces, allowing the apartment to morph in response to the needs of its occupants.

Design Philosophy

With an original brief that went beyond ordinary requirements, Icona Architetti Associati embarked on a journey to meld the tangible with the metaphorical. The paper book, a simple yet profound symbol of knowledge and leisure, inspired the design trajectory—shaping rooms, layouts, finishes, and volumes. This resulted in an abode that does more than house its residents; it encapsulates their life’s work and passion, offering a space that is as dynamic and layered as the stories it holds.


The Paper Nest by Icona Architetti Associati is more than an apartment. It’s a narrative woven into the fabric of Milan’s architectural landscape—a bold redefinition of what it means to live among books. This project not only serves the functional needs of homeowners with an extensive collection but also stands as a beacon of how personal passions can shape our living environments. In doing so, it invites us to reconsider the boundaries between living and reading spaces, blending them into a seamless tapestry of life and literature.

Photography by Monica Spezia
Visit Icona Architetti Associati

- by Matt Watts