The city of Cagliari is characterized by strong environmental and landscape components. Since ancient times it has developed its conformation close to the hills and near the coast, according to a settlement scheme that has generated blocks mainly consisting of terraced residential buildings, in order to solve the hill slopes and at the same time interact with the coast landscape. In the early 1900s, during the great urban expansions in Italy, a residential district was built in the area of Colle di Bonaria, which later became a densely populated but quiet and elegant area: mainly residences for the upper middle class from Cagliari, with well-made buildings, with architectural styles ranging from decò to neo-medieval, from eclectic to rationalist. Buildings of 5 or 6 floors above ground have sprung up, surrounded by gardens and green spaces, filled with trees. It’s in this urban context that the "Jeweler's House" is located, a residence that develops on the top levels of a 7 floors building. The palace, built in 2018, stands close to the south side of Colle di Bonaria, facing the sea and the Gulf of Cagliari. The attic, surrounded on every side by a terrace, is divided longitudinally into two parts: the living area, facing south, and the sleeping area in the north. The large living area is configured as an open space, with living and dining room on the right, and kitchen with island on the left, separated from the rest of the living area by transparent sliding windows. The sleeping area consists of the master bedroom, with bathroom and walk-in closet; another bedroom, always with a private bathroom; and finally a guest bedroom with bathroom and its living room. Through an internal staircase, located in the living room and illuminated with LED lights, it is possible to go down to the fifth floor, where there is a dependance, with living room and kitchen, one bedroom, a bathroom and two balconies. The client of the apartment is a jeweler; his profession represented a leitmotif in the modulation of the design and in the choices of the materials. Several craftsmen were involved in the creation of the Jeweler's House, using a different range of materials: wood, aluminum, steel, stoneware, marble, glass, leather, velvets, crystal and plaster. The different combinations of the materials, referring to the client's profession, have the intention of giving a feeling of preciousness, playing with reflections and lights. The large slabs of Calacatta marble stoneware, used as cladding for the walls of the apartment, give the interiors softness and brightness. The play of colors of the rooms is mainly based on the combination of white, black and gold; color also taken from the veins of the Calacatta marble. A white-body porcelain stoneware was used for the floors, with the purpose of giving brightness to the rooms. The black color, as well as for some furnishings, is used both in the ceilings and for some walls and for the island in the kitchen. The color white was also used in the external finishes to maintain formal purity; the large terrace surrounding the attic allows you to have a privileged view of both the city of Cagliari and the blue Mediterranean sea and the port. The width of the outdoor areas allows the easy arrangement of relaxation areas with sofas and outdoor lounges, illuminated by the LEDs inserted around the perimeter of the roof. The transparent windows that separate the interior from the terrace, allow the visual continuity between inside and outside, allowing the extroversion of the living spaces. The horizontality of the living room environment is contrasted by the insertion of vertical golden wooden strips, while the insertion of LEDs along all the rooms amplify the play of reflections and lights, giving an ethereal aura and lightness to the apartment. The search for brightness and elegance is also seen in the choice of furnishings, with the use of glass and metal tables, with the choice of golden finishes; while the crystal chandeliers, in both the living and in the sleeping areas, further embellish the rooms of the house.
Mei & Pilia Associati is an architecture firm based in Cagliari, operating since 1996 in architecture, urban planning and structures. The owners are Gianluca Pilia, engineer and founder, graduated in Civil Engineering at University of Cagliari, and Luciano Mei engineener, cofounder and graduated in Civil Engineering at University of Cagliari. The team of designer consists of seven coworkers: Ivano Manca, Francesco Mulas, Marco Casu, Saverio Muscas, Tahar Al Makkiui, Francesca Zucca, Joele Loja. The studio works mostly for private buildings, such as residential buildings, villas, interiors, hotels, commercial, urban planning, restoration.