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Uda Architetti Associati

UdA Architetti Associati

Uda Architetti Associati
By Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi -

In 1995, even before they graduated, Valter Camagna, Massimiliano Camoletto and Andrea Marcante decided to open a firm of architects. They called it UdA (standing for “Ufficio d’Architettura”). They began with interiors, a necessary step in Italy if they were to get known. The sort of design they went in for combined minimalism with a hint of sensuality through an interplay of light and materials. The same sensitivity would pervade their first building commissions.
One was Casa Levis (2001) at Vandorno near Biella where a rhythmic series of wooden frames envelop the shell. Into the cavity these create - a filter between the house and its surrounding garden - they incorporated balconies and a staircase. Another commission was Ilti Headquarters, Turin (2004), a drab tenement of an industrial kind to be extended upwards. The operation brings dignity to this building by a pattern of methacrylate panels lit from behind by fibre-optic lighting and closed in at either end by plate-glass panes framing a landscape that is dominated by the church of Juvarra on top of Superga hill.
One of UdA’s recent projects has been to restore a building in Turin’s via Gioberti. It is a quality operation, remarkable for its originality. The way restoration is going in Italy nowadays, hedged about by Superintendency restrictions, it is quite unusual to find a downtown building in a major Italian city transformed by an act of bold intelligence.
The property is a typical late nineteenth-century hotch-potch of styles, crowned by a couple of post-war penthouse floors. It was going to rack and ruin after having been a public office. The estate agency handling the conversion had the foresight - rarely met with in the private sector - to announce an open competition through which various design groups were invited to express their ideas for an upgrade. UdA won the contract because their plans kept the historical façade but radically modernized the added top floors. Inside, they...

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