Living quarters in Turin. The operation was to raise a superstructure on part of the abandoned CEAT factory, erstwhile tyre manufacturers, which stands in the Regio Parco district just outside the old town centre. The new portion rises above gutter-line and the building below has in turn been converted to a new mixed use, part residential, part services. The severe angular lines of the old factory were inevitably to be reckoned with and the new part itself has a straight-sided outline. But the broad glass expanses separate and distance it from the bulk of the building, giving it a character of its own.
Andrea Marcante drew up the plans with help from Adelaide Testa: the result is a 120 sq.m. dwelling on two levels, suitable for a young professional couple.
The spacious terrace seems an extension of the dining/living room with its tall wrap-around picture-windows; indoors spills outside, forming a fully and specially appointed area paved in light-coloured stoneware, the natural material blending with the greenery of a small lawn and the plant-clad back-wall. Light is the principal feature of the dining/living space, the core of the apartment which also functions as an entrance lobby. The space unfolds down the side wall with its narrow staircase leading to the upper sleeping quarters: two bedrooms and a bathroom. The main room then opens out vertically, too, to double the height – quite an emotional impact. Height prevails over horizontality. The space is flooded with light from the full-height windows, filterable as needs be by a sophisticated screen system. Light plays over the walls and irregular spatial volumes: a slight overhang formed by the upstairs bathroom, the side-wall with staircase opening out into this overhang, the gallery-style balcony looking out from the back-wall of the double-height area, a place for artworks or bookcases. The accent is on variety, the space defined by reflex and contrast. The glass parapet of the balcony links with smooth light walls and the light-coloured stone floor running out onto the terrace. Against this are dark divans and carpets, artworks, built-in furnishings: objects that intermingle within a clean geometrical perimeter. A distinctly geometrical architectural shell links with and sets off an inside space that is all a detailed composition of light games, receding depths, routes for the eye, awareness of texture. The materials and finishes add a wealth of perceptual detail in this interior: exposed concrete juxtaposes with wood and fabric. The sleeping area above is an interplay of rich wood flooring, render interspersed with architectural concrete, light conditions that range from vivid to shadowy translucent. The place invites one to discover unexpected indoor vistas, spatial relations, glimpses of the outer surrounds.
Gross Floor Area: 250 m2
Design Team: Andrea Marcante, Adelaide Testa
Freelancers: Shinobu Hashimoto, Mauro Camagna
Contractor: De-Ga Costruzioni
Photo by: © Max Zambelli
UdA was set up in 1992 in Turin by Valter Camagna, Massimiliano Camoletto and Andrea Marcante. With contracts ranging from turnkey architectural projects to interior design, the three partners work with a team of architects, designers and graphic designers in Italy and abroad, including interior design expert Adelaide Testa. The team has a driving interest in crosspollination with other forms of creative expression, such as visual communication. Several of UdA’s projects have been featured at exhibitions in Europe and around the world, as well as in the most important trade journals.
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