Projects

Private Residence - Tarquinia (Viterbo)

White moves – and wins

In the Viterbo countryside, a young Roman designer has transformed an anodyne eighties building into an elegant villa with eclectic styling, which stands out for the artful contrast of white and grey
Author
Riccardo Bianchi
Architect
Serena Romanò
Surfaces
PANARIA CERAMICA
Year of completion
2016

Imagine the countryside behind Tarquinia. Indolently rolling hills, with alternating cultivation and untamed nature. The green spreads as far as the eye can see, ready to turn gold and ochre in the summer. In the middle of this setting, a villa stands out for its vaguely post-modern styling and gable roof – a typical expression of Eighties architectural fashions. Its new owner was far from satisfied with its look, and even less with its physical condition, largely due to the use of low quality materials. “The project’s basic concept,” says architect Serena Romanò, who managed the restoration project, “was to transform the existing structure into a new, white modern villa, to be used mainly in the summer.”
The villa makes a powerful statement as you approach it: once you pass the gate, you enter an avenue which cuts through the large garden, planted with native trees and bushes. The villa rises at the end of the avenue, like a bright neo-classical temple. The glimmering whiteness of the building in the bright sunshine of the Viterbo countryside marks it as unmistakably the work of Serena Romanò. The young architect, who studied at Rome and has numerous active projects in her portfolio, says: “In a certain sense, colour was the point of departure in our transformation of the villa. The original colour reflected the use of low performance materials without any functional or technological value. Unfortunately tuff, due to its porosity, is not suited to the rainy, damp climate typical of the location. We therefore decided to use a premixed plaster to cover the original tuff, a casein-based covering which is completely natural and organic and thus compliant with green building standards. In addition to this new covering, we installed an external insulation system around the house’s outer walls.”
The entrance avenue and the walkways around the house also had similar issues, since they too had been constructed with tuff. The project therefore required that the existing, degraded and fragmented paving be replaced with porcelain tile panels. The walkways and patios, as well as a number of spaces outside the property, were paved with Panaria Ceramica’s Urbanature collection, in particular, Cement panels in the 60×60 cm size and 20mm thickness, ideally suited to the project due to their texture and cement effect colouring, a perfect contrast with the bright white of the facades. “There was no doubt that Panaria porcelain tile was the right choice,” says Romanò. “The wide range of textures, sizes and thicknesses gave us the flexibility we needed for the design process.”
What about the interiors? “There was just as much – and as challenging – work to do in the interiors,” says Romanò. The villa has three floors. The first floor houses the leisure and entertainments areas, plus a night time area; the second houses the living room, lunch area and kitchen and another night time section; while the top floor is a large attic which houses the master bedroom and bathroom. In furnishing this complex configuration, Serena Romanò designed custom furniture and fittings to satisfy the client’s requirements. These requirements also affected “the use of suspended ceilings, the lighting design, the colours – In harmony with the colours used outdoors – and the domotics: the entire interior was designed to maximise comfort.” This was also true of the floors which, as requested by the client, are covered with large porcelain panels to give a sense of continuity between the various spaces. Panaria Ceramica products were used in the living and bedroom areas, while the bathrooms were tiled in Kerlite by Cotto d’Este.

Tiles
Panaria Ceramica, Urbanature
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
60,3x60,3 cm
Colours
Cement
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): E ≤ 0,04%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA -UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <_ 145 N/mm2
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R 11
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
ISO 14001
NF UPEC
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