Microarchitecture: the furniture that architect Ivonne Sthandier designs forms part of a transformation project: the movement is from architecture to design via miniaturization of building construction concepts. Microarchitecture is different from architecture proper. The sheer amount and complexity of ideas required by each function of a building rarely leaves room for the luxury of concentrating on just one design theme. By contrast, the aim of microarchitecture is to take advantage of that luxury and capture the essence of an object and its theme. The items of furniture shown on this and the following pages were designed for the Velux Atika project and go into the topic of duality and complementarity. A stand-alone feature may be effective, but the aesthetic tension of two juxtaposed items challenges the user to let them interact spontaneously.
Private home in Verona: this home lies in the old centre of Verona and occupies the top floor of a building dating from the late 18th to early 19th century. It has been converted into a two-tier attic with a raised gallery running the full length of the apartment, served by an impressive original tufa staircase.
The house is light with its four Velux skylights serving also to illuminate the lower floor. Other windows look onto the adjacent Via XX Settembre affording fine views of the Torricelle hills and the elegant Venetian palazzo opposite.
The technical challenge of the gallery was the lack of suitable points of support. To avoid thick beams running throughout, a steel mechanism was preferred: this fits into the edge of the floor, becomes part of the steel railing and connects up with the existing IPE profile girder that supports the roof. The kitchen is slightly raised above the lower floor-level to make room for new tubes and conduits. The step also serves to demarcate the new room in the downstairs area paved (kitchen and living-room alike) in a warm reddish Africa doussié parquet. Special care was lavished on the kitchen colour scheme: deep maroon, steel, grey-black and straw-colour.
Besides the kitchen and living-room, the lower floor has the main bathroom and master bedroom. The gallery floor contains two more bedrooms, a study and a plant area created out of the cavity on top of the lift shaft.
Each space has its own character, colour scheme and often its own ceiling-height. The whole feels roomier than it really is, since the spatial layout lets the eye travel here and there until it ranges out into the landscape. Yvonne Sthandier
Corso Cavour, 21
Tel. +39 340 1848607