Just a stone's throw away from the ancient Roman centre of Turin, between Corso Tassoni and the piazza of the same name along the Baroque axis of Corso Francia, stands the new Bernini² complex. This innovative, residential architecture in a popular area served by lively, commercial businesses and a dense, public transport network was result of the collaboration between Co.Ge.Fa., Mediapolis Engineering and +Studio Architetti. The new, modern complex of 28 state-of-the-art apartments is divided into two distinct, yet strongly interconnected parts: the Villa, which transforms the elegant building which, in the 50s, brought Mario Asnago and Claudio Vender’s sophisticated ideas of residential building to Milan, the provincial capital of Savoy. The Tower's nine storeys above ground level soar high above Corso Tassoni. The carefully designed, varied façades go beyond the customary hierarchy between main and secondary elevations. With an unexpected, 10 m-high, monumental, "telescope effect" entrance hall and through-views from the road hinting at a new, internal garden, the Tower is crowned by the double height enclosure of the two top floors. It expresses a new, dynamic, consistent language, consisting of open façades and splayed windows to capture the light and enhance the cedar wood. On first impact, the changes of scale and the joints, in which the division of the façades is broken by a slight offset, variations in size, recesses and protrusions, all become the catalyst for the entire project. The skilful play between solid and empty spaces is also marked by alternating materials, textures and colours, which contribute to the individual character of the various residential units and highlight a sense of overall belonging in a dialogue between the various parts of the building. Bernini² is the fruit of lengthy discussions to resolve the problems of a corner plot brilliantly. It transforms those same problems into unusual architecture features, to successfully create a constructive dialogue with the past. It acts as mediator between very different scales of intervention and types of construction, to find a balanced solution between the total loss of a precious, pre-existing building and its inclusion in the new work. A bridge between past and future, where the key element are the foundations, which fold back almost seamlessly on to Corso Tassoni. They accompany the change in scale in a progressive perception of the complex, only to then disperse visually in the Tower's dynamic structure. The Bernini² complex is not merely an innovative residential complex, which respects a revised spirit of the place. It is also an immediately successful property transaction. In an effective response to the information from a detailed market analysis, it offered a strategy of top quality combined with a variety of solutions at competitive prices, to create at least two types of homes and satisfy the needs of different occupants. Within the context in which the new complex plays a major role in rejoining and reconnecting the town, the Villa actually confirms its small scale "urban villa" character and becomes the pretext to offer unexpected solutions, such as ground floors with private gardens. By updating consolidated, residential models of the buildings along Corso Tassoni in the sixties and seventies, the Tower now offers modern, two, three and four-room apartments, where close attention has been paid to detail and materials. The open views, deep terraces and panoramic, top floor penthouses make the most of high-rise construction
The small building redesigned in Modernist linear forms by Asnago and Vender has been maintained, renewed and extended by a project, inspired by volumes. The building reinvents itself yet, at the same time, the setting, which identified the front of the Villa overlooking Piazza Bernini, remains the same. Asnago and Vender’s distinctive mark is repeated by the base of the Tower with a cladding of large, Bianco Botticini porcelain stoneware slabs to become the pattern, which unifies the Villa-Tower complex.
How can the question of a construction within something already constructed be resolved, yet at the same time maximise the residential space offered, without devastating the original version? The Tower is the answer. Starting from a small footprint, it rises 9 storeys high with an independent entrance on to Corso Tassoni and a monumental, astounding, three-storey high entrance hall. To resolve the difference in scale between Piazza Bernini and Corso Tassoni, the Tower's first floors are aligned with those of the Villa to offer a generous 4-metre storey height, which is reduced on the upper floors. The quest to identify the aspects which had characterised the small building designed by Asnago and Vender, yet with a greater freedom of expression and of colours and materials, gives the Tower façades a new, contemporary feel.
ClientSocietà Aurelia e Bernini
Gross Floor Area (mq)3800
ArchitectsArch. Filippo Orlando |+Studio Architetti; Ing. Silvano Vedelago|Mediapolis Engineering
Design teamArch. Mariella Brero, Arch. Martina Colombo, Arch. Irene Corsi, Arch. Cinzia Curitti, Arch. Sara Musso, Agr. paesaggista Stefania Naretto, Agr. paesaggista Chiara Otella, Ing. Marcello Prina, Arch. Sonia Szymanska, Ing. Francesco Torsello
Consultants2LD Acustica Srl, C2R Energy Consulting Srl, Illuminanti
SuppliersKronos Ceramiche, Caesar Ceramiche, Keope ceramiche
Photo CreditsMario Forcherio, Fabio Oggero
+ is the positive sign which characterises our work, + is the creative sum of complementary minds and professionalism, + is the essential feature in which we recognise ourselves. +Studio Architetti blends projects marked by spatial investigation in a continual search for new trends. The studio began business in 2002 by tackling themes of architectural casing, of places in which to live and work at the same time, matching experience and professionalism gained in different scales and sectors. The result is a kaleidoscopic portfolio: today, +Studio collaborates with architects and graphic designers to design and construct quality housing, private homes, showrooms, restaurants, offices, spaces for work and retail, in Italy and abroad. Born in 1962 in Turin, Filippo Orlando is the founder of +Studio Architetti and is in charge of project design, Corporate Image and communication strategies for an architectural product of excellence, which focuses on the customer's needs.