Projects

Residenza privata - Torino

A very modern classic

An apartment in Turin invents rigorous spaces and volumes in a homage to rationalist architecture and metaphysical painting. But without renouncing strong, broad colours. Starting in the bathroom
Author
Laura Ragazzola
Architect
UdA Architetti - Andrea Marcante, Adelaide Testa
Surfaces
VOGUE
Year of completion
2015

Turin, rationalist architecture, De Chirico, a multi-generational family. These are the four cardinal points of the apartment, designed by Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa from the practice Uda Architetti. The location is Turin, in an elegant Thirties building facing onto the magical perspective of avenues, roads and arcades characteristic of the metaphysical painting of De Chirico: indeed, Via Roma, in the centre of the city, was one of the great artist’s favourite walks. And the family, a very special client: with three generations – grandfather, father and daughters/grandchildren – were looking for a home which would express the variety of their ages and outlooks.
The two designers took all this into account. They started by redesigning the spaces. The rooms had to reflect the meeting of generations: they were expanded to assure the comfort of the individual, but also closed off to make sure that every family member could enjoy his privacy; they were also equipped with new, large wardrobes, as well as additional bathrooms and utility rooms.
But above all, the renovation project was guided by a desire to recover the original elements, in all their beauty and charm, which the building had lost over the years due to the many changes it had undergone. One example is the elegant street-facing coffered arcade which opens onto the entrance area with its bare beams, thus providing a new, intimate domestic walkway. The form of the arcade has itself been reconstructed with plaster, while narrow metal shelves follow the contour of the walls, and can also act as partitions when needed.
Again, the plasterwork on the ceiling of the dining room, which draws the eyes towards the large Gino Sarfatti lamp at the centre of the room, creates an emotional tension which is the perfect counter to the rigour of the furniture. The spaces are sparsely furnished: on the one hand, custom made pieces, on the other, examples of both historical and modern design, carefully selected and combined. Like the table by Jean Prouvé, which contrasts with the chairs by young Scandinavian designer Hee Welling. Indeed, even the furnishings are characterised by that connection between ages and people which animates the entire home.
As does the use of materials: here the designers have employed an unusual combination of materials and colours to give character to the rooms: carpet and parquet, resin and ceramics.
Take the bathrooms for instance, where the ceramic tiling (the ‘Trasparenze’ series from Ceramica Vogue in a 10×20 cm size) adapts perfectly to the modern architectural style, with pastel colours (from fresh mint to rigorous dove grey) to tone down what would otherwise be an excessive formality. The choice of bevel edged tiles also helps to create an intimate vintage atmosphere. But above all, it provides an original setting for the surprisingly modern washbasin and furnishings.

Tiles
Caramica Vogue, Trasparenze series
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
10x20 cm
Colours
TR Menta - TR Tortora
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 1,5 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GB min.
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 40 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
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