A contemporary outdoor space enclosed within ancient walls
Respecting the harmony and proportions of historical architecture is never easy, even in seemingly simple outdoor projects catering for the needs of contemporary living. A case in point is a private residence in the municipality of Almè, an urban villa with a splendid vaulted arcade supported by grey sandstone columns facing onto a courtyard garden. An authentic hortus conclusus enclosed by an exposed stone perimeter wall, this garden evokes the timeless atmosphere of mediaeval convents and monasteries.
The challenge of the project was to create an open-air living space with areas set aside for relaxation, dining, conversation and a barbecue, interspersed with ornamental green plants such as boxwood bushes, creepers and elegant and sinuous bamboo shrubs used to create screens and plant walls.
This dialogue between past and present, between an old home and a contemporary garden is typical of the urban fabric of this small municipality in the province of Bergamo, located between Val Brembana and the river Brembo. In particular, Almè can boast a number of splendid mediaeval buildings and historical areas of great interest, including the Borghetto neighbourhood where signs of ancient fortifications can still be seen today and Piazza San Fermo, dominated by a tower dating back to the eleventh century.
Rather than opting for simplistic solutions that evoke a generic past, the designers chose a restoration project based on the modern concept of harmoniously integrating past and present while clearly marking the boundaries between historical buildings and contemporary additions. Accordingly, the solutions chosen for the arcade and the garden exploit the innovative elements of an urban style while maintaining the courtyard garden’s character of an intimate, enclosed space. In particular, wood slat panels were chosen to partially cover the surrounding wall and accommodate light fixtures.
The solution adopted for the paving consists of Aextra20 porcelain tiles from Ceramiche Caesar in a textured 60×120 cm size, chosen in a seductive Versilia pale grey tone from the Portraits collection. Laid directly on gravel, the large slabs create a surface with a complex yet simple geometry, while the designer furnishings and green spaces are carefully set out so as to avoid interrupting the visual continuity with the arcade, where the same paving is used. Along with a unique texture evoking the sandstone of the architecture elements of the house, the Portraits collection also delivers outstanding technical characteristics, making it ideal for any kind of exterior paving.
60x120 strutturato aextra20 - spessore 20 mm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 47 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R11 a+b+c strutturato - R9 naturale
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant