Research, as Michele Perlini states, starts as a work of subtraction and simplifying in order to get at the essence. The building dates back to the 13th century. Many famous families have lived here, starting with Dal Verme, and then Gattamelata, the Da Montes, after which it was inherited by the Maffei family, where Marquis Scipione, a world-famous man of culture and science, died in 1755. The very entrance itself presents a variety of peaceful and harmonious sensations, a well-being of the senses that is given by use of materials, light and colouring. Orderly spaces, without interuption, the use of neutral and airy colours, which become the perfect context for furnishings, works of art and objects of design. In these 350 square metres of square rational lines, an elegant harmony of forms comes out, along with careful details and natural materials, as expressed through a selection of highly refined furnishings. The building's shell was refurbished with a special combination of mineral dust, fibrous insulating materials for the roof, together with a VMC system which regulates humidity in the building in the best way possible. Michele Perlini explains how the old distribution of internal spaces was completely changed, with the kitchen being transformed into a large open space that gives onto the dining room. The living area with its cathedral ceilings is the focus of the house, an area for social encounters to entertain guests and friends during parties. The outstanding feature of this room is the large wall with its fireplace and firewood rack which is customized, as are all the handmade furnishings, such as the large white wooden sideboard in front of the celebrated marble table. The colour chosen for the wall is white, while there are just a few nuances foreseen in some of the passageways. Hidden light fixtures and design lamps create an effect of changing soft lighting in the spaces created for different domestic functions. From the entrance hall which acts as a central distribution point for all the spaces and passageways towards the bedrooms for children, guests, service spaces, the living space, the panoramic tower and the master quarters. The area for the couple of the house is functional and has been created to capture the different type of light during the day. Doors that are flush with the walls are invisible in the hallways, like the entrance door to the apartment which is all white like the penthouse itself. There is a mini-spa for moments of relaxation which in the large bathroom in natural travertine, beside the walk-in closet and studio. Ths spa is really a multi-sensory experience with its rain-style chromotherapy shower, sauna, turkish bath with music and perfumes. The bed itself stands out among the natural oak floors, completely white smooth ceiling and walls which highlight the natural quality and tones of clay, and which also have useful niches. The other wing has another bedroom area, with two large bedrooms with private bathrooms in wood, green wood and natural vegetation and a central Corian in the middle. There are also outside terraces as well: one measures 80 sqm and the other 40. One is a dining area while the other is for serving desserts at the end of the evening and for cocktails. In the middle of the penthouse, there is a tower in terra cotta that has a 360° view of the city. It is one of the highest points in the city and therefore one of the most panaromic views of the city. It was used by Maffei as an astronomical observatory, and today it is a relaxation lounge to smoke cigars in and to listen to music. The intention, according to Michele Perlini, was to add a touch of well-being. An architect can never demonstrate things: they have to come out by themselves. The fascinating final project reflects an idea of beauty while keeping an eye on the economy of resources. “The new luxury is a synonym of happiness, because people need time to dedicate to themselves, to their creativity, their health and well-being.” Winner at CasaClima Awards 2016.
Michele Perlini was born in Verona in 1982. He graduated in Sustainable Architecture at the IUAV University of Venice in 2007. Recently completed projects include the Class “A” Nature First Conservative Climate House Refurbishment in Italy and the first Welcome ClimateHouse in Italy planned and developed in a historical centre, a luxury design hotel. He has produced, directed and planned Smart Italia® a luxury design hotel in a historic downtown area. He has also produced, directed and planned Smart House®, a new type of eco-sustainable ClimateHouse, GLAM luxury wood houses with extremely reduced consumption. His projects have been published in top international and Italian architectural magazines, along with being a guest on well-known television programs. His latest collection of handmade furnishings were presented at 100% Design in London and the Furniture Salon of Milan. Winner at CasaClima Awards 2016