This residential complex stands on the eastern outskirts of Cesena amid a traditional suburban landscape of small houses quite widely spaced out. The rectangular plot for development fell vacant when a previous artisan’s workshop premises were demolished. The architectural practice of Tisselli tailored its plans to the shape of the plot: a long thin building which departs slightly from straight-sidedness only along its north-south axis. Accepting the irregularities of the terrain enabled the outline of the building to conform to the immediate surrounds, and suggested having independently accessed garages on two different levels: one basement just for garages and one floor half for accommodation and the other, where it abuts on rising ground, for private cars. In organisation the complex mixes formal and quality innovation – in the use of materials and in the composition texture – with a substantially traditional bearing structure in reinforced concrete; even the pitched symmetrical metal-clad roof contrives to lean towards innovation.
In its plurality of architectural features the building keeps an identity of tension: the pronounced horizontal shape stands out amid the neighbouring buildings. The main elevations – the long south-east and north-west sides –are distinguished by long loggia-like balconies set back from the façade line with parapets all of glass. The composition juxtaposes markedly “textural” portions – floor courses rendered in alternately light and dark colours – with the see-through effect of the running parapet lines unbroken by uprights, and the resulting fact of the apartments being set back from the overall outline. Apparently simple, the shape conceals points of contrast. The amount to which the loggias protrude varies from one floor to the next and even within one and the same floor – a neat visual effect that brings out the physical volumes with the string-course ledges of reinforced concrete tying up with beams of laminated wood. The distinctive horizontal pattern is reinforced by the “chiaro-scuro” colouring. The apartments proper are grouped along the spine of the building which distances them and adds privacy. But the architectural relationship between recessed apartments and the outer line of balconies does cut two ways: privacy despite the see-through parapets, unity despite the separators between one apartment’s balcony and its neighbour’s (white glass partitions, wooden flower-boxes). The sense of matter mixed with rarefaction is completed on the end walls to north and south, with their pronounced geometric pattern of rendered wall portions broken up by balconies, full versus empty. Another feature is the solid-looking dark snaking perimeter wall that skirts the plot, seeming partly to contain and partly to bolster the building.
Coming back to the loggia-balconies – open yet sheltered within the outline, marking out each floor and paved in wood – they form an enhancement to the natural living quality of the whole complex. The slight projection is enough to give shelter from the summer glare without the need for sun-shield units which would clash with the neat geometrical composition of this building.
Client: Residence Cristallo
Gross Floor Area: 2.257 m2
Design Team: Filippo Tisselli, Cinzia Mondello, Filippo Tombaccini
Collaborators: Flavia Benigni, Elena Fantoni
Works Management: Filippo Tisselli, Cinzia Mondello
Aerated Concrete Block Infill and Dividing Walls: Gasbeton – RDB
Timber Roof: Euromontaggi
Zinc-Titanium Roofing: Lattoneria S. Pietro in Vincoli
Timber Door and Window Frames: Centro Infissi Due
Entrance Doors and Glass Balusters in Stair Wells: Vetreria Del Savio
Timber Flooring: Florian
Gypsum Board and Exterior Paint: La Fenice
Carpentry: Arredamenti Mama
Garden: Piante e Fiori Scarpellini
Zinc-Titanium Roofing: VMZinc
Motorized Skylights: Velux
Render: Fassa Bortolo
Photo by: © tissellistudioarchitetti
‘tissellistudioarchitetti’ was established in Cesena, Italy, in 1998 by Filippo Tisselli (born 1967). He was joined in 2001 by Cinzia Mondello (born 1969). Together they have participated in several national and international competitions, distinguishing themselves in Europan 6. In 2007 Flavia Benigni (born 1979) joined the firm.
Since being established, the firm has mainly focused on residential building, and interior architecture and design.
The studio has retained its small, typically provincial size, thereby making it possible to look after every stage of the building process internally, from the conceptual design phase to building. The aim is to open their local province to the panorama of international architecture.