The colour of the sea
A large terrace on the fifth floor of a newly built apartment building is a perfect vantage point for admiring the beauty of the city of Bari. “If Paris were by the sea, it would be a small Bari,” goes a local saying. In a residential area just a few kilometres from Bari Vecchia, the city’s historic centre, a 130 square metre duplex penthouse stands out for a fresh and original interior design project that reflects the personality of the young owner. “Maximum flexibility was our mantra,” explains architect Maria Roberta Pansini who, together with her colleague Vito Piccoli, founded the local practice PforTwo Design.
“Our idea was to create custom furnishings that would become an integral part of the volume of the house, freeing up space and creating a large, airy environment (as is the case of the 70-cm-deep built-in cupboard in the entrance hallway). At the same time they would serve as modular storage units capable of performing multiple functions simultaneously, while maintaining a fresh, playful approach,” she explained. As a result, the house is dotted with lightweight multifunctional steel-rod partitions with full or empty spaces as required: a bookcase/TV cabinet in the living room, transformed into a study corner and coat rack on the side facing the entrance; an open cabinet in the upper-floor dining room which also serves to regulate the temperature between the two floors thanks to panes of glass that cover the compartments up to the ceiling; and a sliding module that serves to isolate the sleeping area, ensuring the privacy of the bedrooms while providing additional storage space. The designers opted for a small number of interchangeable and highly flexible items of furniture, such as the modular sofa capable of changing its shape and volume according to requirements. They adopted the same approach for the lighting system, which creates luminous pathways on the ceiling and fulfils all functional requirements while maintaining a sense of fun (for example, tracing out the word “home” on the kitchen ceiling).
The originality of the furnishing solutions goes hand in hand with the elegance of the colour and material choices. The warm tones of the parquet flooring coordinate perfectly with the rust-coloured fabric of the awnings, creating solid, almost theatrical backdrops against the pale walls, while brass decorative elements lend a touch of luminosity to the lightweight steel structures of the partitions. But it is above all the view of the sea from the windows that inspired the dominant shade of the walls and tiles. The teal blue colour chosen for the lacquered wooden doors of the storage modules alternates with grey in a pleasant tonal contrast. The same shade was chosen for the strip of solid colour that extends through the whole house, running from the second floor kitchen down to the living room and then through the bedroom before finally covering an entire wall in the master bathroom. Here, however, the teal blue colour is combined with the texture of porcelain thanks to the geometric design of the Trapez series tiles from Tonalite, installed in an original way with contrasting joints to bring a sense of movement to the entire wall. On the floor, the designers opted for the flat, unbroken surface of light grey resin, once again revealing their preference for the use of materials with different colours and textures.
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,5%
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant