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Collector’s house

Andrea Marastoni | Walter Angonese

Collector’s house
By Francesco Pagliari -

Making one’s home part of one’s art collection is a theme that reaches deep into the psyche of the collector. It’s all about creating something unique and distinctive: a home that is a work of art - a collector’s item in itself - but also the casket containing the collector’s treasures. House and art collection constitute an initiatic experience through spaces where showcase sits alongside private living areas. This collector’s home near Bolzano in northeast Italy goes beyond mere juxtaposition, reaching out also to envelop its natural surrounds. Here natural and manmade are one; built object and nature exist in osmosis. The building thrusts into the steep, rocky terrain. Natural stone has been ground and used as aggregate for the concrete, giving the imposing unrendered structure a grainy, rough texture and colour like the porphyry all around. Obtained with a special technique using high-pressure water-jets, this “artificial stone” blurs perception of what is natural or artificial. Here material and form speak of the connection between architecture and nature. A sweeping entrance and perimeter wall pierced by slat-like openings and the tall stark volumes of the residential section both contrast yet blend with the gentle sweep of grass-covered roofs broken only by large lights. Metal cladding on the ground floor wall gives way to ample glazing overlooking the entrance and full-height picture windows in the living room. The sculptural character of the building and outdoor sculptures announce the art collection within. Here everything is intersection and separation. Exhibition areas are clearly designated areas in deference to museum or art gallery criteria: large fairly regular spaces on the ground, first and second levels set on an east–west axis. These double-height environments with mezzanine floor are intriguingly lit by harsh unmitigated natural light from skylights and narrow side windows as well as neon...

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