Ristrutturazione ed ampliamento di edificio unifamiliare - Archisbang Associati
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Refurbishment of a detached house

Archisbang Associati

Edited By Francesco Pagliari - 5 June 2015

The original two-storey house lacked any distinctive architectural elements, but the refurbishment and extension gave it a contemporary overhaul, with a new internal layout across both levels. The new section, with its sharp, regular geometry, marks the south-western side of the building, providing space for a kitchen and lunch area. The addition of a transition space between the indoors and outdoors, protected by the overhanging roof, not only physically extends the cooking and dining area, but brings visual continuity to the interior-exterior dynamics through the full-height glazed wall. The roof of the extension forms a terrace with glazed parapets that can be accessed via the bedroom on the upper floor through another closed, glazed zone.
The addition is decisive, using Cor-ten panels to form a solid band of colour and material that defines and identifies the façade of the new section. The Cor-ten cladding is also used for some of the existing sections on the ground floor, on the south-eastern and north-western sides, helping to transform these elevations. The design is built on a complex relationship between the existing structures and the contemporary additions, bringing a new image to the building through changes, additions and simplification of the old parts. The original façades were excessively decorated, with an abundance of materials - especially stone and brick - in close proximity on the walls, pillars and pilasters. As such, in the revamp, the façades were redone, using Cor-ten cladding as the dominant but not exclusive element to add a contemporary feel. The sections in stone were maintained while the parts in bricks were whitewashed, adding new depth to the colour relationships of the different materials.
The extension also made it necessary to reorganise the interior layout, but maintaining the underlying premise of interaction between the partially maintained old section and the addition. Nowhere is this clearer than on the ground floor. The extra space is largely to the south-west side, opening up two additional rooms (bathroom and laundry) and even carving out a space for a study. This correlation between new and existing creates some interests points of comparison. The original stairs were maintained, allowing access to the upper floor with a bedroom and en-suite bathroom under a ceiling of beams that have been given a coat of white paint to diminish the overtly wooden appearance. The wall in the sitting room used to separate this space from the entrance section, but it has now become an internal wall. The profile of the window, including the sill, has been maintained, but the actual window has been removed, adding yet another layer to the old-new interplay.

Francesco Pagliari