A residential project in the city of Cremona, comprising a mixture of single-room and double-room flats, large-scale quarters and commercial premises: the new building, which replaces an agglomeration of artisan workshops, faces onto a tree-lined avenue just outside the old town centre along the course of the medieval city walls which were demolished at the beginning of the last century. The design, by architects Giorgio Palù and Michele Bianchi, features a number of accretions to the cube-like regularity of the building block which break up the frontage on the avenue side and affect room arrangement within. In keeping with the apparent simplicity of outline is a subtle personalising of the exterior achieved through technical dexterity. The regular modular layout of the inside volumes is a focus that shifts as the room arrangement interlocks and overlaps. Within the limited scale of an interior there thus form slanting vistas with surprising colour effects and see-through walls extending the range of view and increasing the interior interest as light filters from outside. The avenue-side façade divides into three lengthwise bands: the horizontal line of the ground floor is pierced by broad shop windows, but the eye is drawn to the residential first floor clad in burnished sheet-brass, punctuated by the horizontal line of windows. Above, the top floor maximises lighting by its line of full-length windows on a distinctly modular pattern heightening the vertical effect this time, contriving at once to soar and dematerialise. The essence of the design and implementation lies in the brass cladding which gives the building a curious ever-changing sensation. The solidity of the material heightens the “closed-in” impression. But there is a sense of transformation at work as the shifting tones of burnishing vary unevenly from zone to zone; while with changing natural light conditions intense sheens give unexpected life to the cladding material. The window-darkening mechanism adds to the visual variation and contrast of volumes: in the same material as the cladding, the electrically-operated double folding shutters hinge on their horizontal edge, their positions ranging from perpendicular to flush with the line of the façade. The random combinations of open and closed lend plastic variety to the building front. Fine holes in the metal sheeting let the inside light filter through by night, making an attractive pattern amid the pools of light cast by room light from other storeys. Inside there are occasional glimpses of primary colour from a glass wall; the stairs leading to galleries are super-light in structure, their handrails achieved by glass panes. This, with the offsetting of rooms and access-ways, gives the design its keynote of light (and lightness), and in the process affords unusual views of the old town landscape.