When an architect designs for herself
Maria Giulia Zunino
With its strongly contemporary feel, this home could just as easily be in New York, Rotterdam, Milan, Moscow, or any other big city.
The photos are specifically studied to emphasize its international spirit and to convey the sense of the architectural design rather than lifestyle; since they were taken before it was fully furnished they seem somewhat too cold.
But then, this is the home of an architect, of a young architect at that, and not the model apartment in a building complex looking for buyers.
And Claudia Hauke takes the opportunity to use it in order to showcase her design approach. How can we blame her for that? Not all young architects enjoy such good fortune. Designing for oneself, without being influenced by the tastes and needs of the client not only offers great freedom but also becomes a major opportunity to experiment with one’s ideas and put them to the test.
This, then, is a customized home. It shows the utmost attention to detail, it is both essential and functional, and its spaces and fixed elements are meticulously designed.
The living area is a single space with a rarefied ambience, all in pure white – including the kitchen furniture – in which there are no doors between one area and another but just perfectly finished wall openings that enhance the perception of spaciousness.
The staircase leading to the upper floor adds a further element of lightness; there is no railing, and the “suspended” solid wood steps are anchored directly into the wall on one side and delimited by a glass wall on the other.
The floor creates visual divisions between the various the areas according to the function of each and introduces an overall focus on the materials, which are linked on the one hand to home decor traditions and on the other to natural elements.
The architect has chosen to use porcelain stoneware for the floors, not only for its proven technical characteristics of durability and water resistance, ease of installation and maintenance, stain resistance and hygienic properties, but also for the wide range of available finishes and formats. The stoneware is manufactured by Fondovalle, a company that for over 50 years has been producing tiles in its site in Marano sul Panaro (Modena), immersed in the magnificent park of Sassi di Roccamalatina. Fondovalle tiles combine aesthetic research and attention to detail with technological development and innovation, with a particular concern for environmental protection and preservation of the local area.
From the vast selection of tiles offered by the company, Claudia Hauke has chosen evocative collections that could be combined without interrupting the visual continuity of the space: floor tiles from the “Komi” collection bring into the living room the essential mood of oak thanks to the long planks installed lengthwise in a staggered pattern; tiles from the “Portland 3.0” collection introduce the charm of timeless cement into the kitchen area, extending into the corridor featuring the staircase, and, in different formats, into the bathroom, covering both floors and walls.
The centrepiece on the “parquet” floor is the wood-burning heater/fireplace: an iron and glass box, slightly recessed on three sides, set into a sort of pillar that narrows at the top so as not to block off the natural light or interrupt the continuity of the ceiling and, most of all, to prevent the feature from becoming too overwhelming.
Ceramica Fondovalle, Portland 3.0 and Komi
120x120 e 120x240 cm (Portland 3.0) 24x240 cm (Komi)
Portland 3.0 Hood; Komi Natural
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <=0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA; ULA; UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <= 140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >=50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R 10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant