Playground Apartment - Rome

A sports-inspired home

The renovation project for a small apartment in Rome opts for bold and visually-striking graphic solutions and transparent accents
Silvia Airoldi
Paola Oliva - Brain Factory - Architecture & Design
designer d'intérieur
Marco Marotto - Brain Factory - Architecture & Design
Année de réalisation

Tell me your sport and I’ll tell you what kind of home you live in! An apartment in Rome’s Prenestino neighbourhood underwent an unusual restyling project commissioned from architecture and design firm Brainstorm. Architect Paola Oliva and designer Marco Marotto drew inspiration from the owner’s passion for sport, recreating a miniature version of a basketball court on the living room walls. The apartment’s original 1960s layout – comprising a long corridor, kitchenette, small bathroom and, at the entrance, a living room and bedroom – was completely reconfigured. « We created functional and dynamic spaces tailored to the needs of the clients, a young couple, adopting fitted walls, built-in wardrobes and transformable furniture to compensate for the home’s small size of just 65 m2, » explained the architect. « Now it even has two bathrooms. » The living area is an open-plan space with industrial-style accents extending around a central TV cabinet and partition element that separates the living room from the kitchen. The food preparation and cooking space is half hidden from view by frosted glass incorporated into the partition, allowing light to pass through while maintaining the privacy of the two rooms. The minimalist atmosphere is punctuated by a small Zen garden set into the screened corner, a visual comfort zone of light and shadow within the total-white setting that serves to magnify the sense of space. But the colour design also includes the black lines of a miniature basketball court running the entire length of the white wall. The design is integrated into the architecture, its evocative, iconographic power lending character to the essentiality of the spaces and bringing a personal touch to the project as a whole. In accordance with the wishes of the client, the design firm opted for a porcelain tile surface covering. Chosen in a white colour, the Soleras collection from ABK is inspired by the natural veins and mottled markings of wooden slats reclaimed from barrels used for ageing high-quality sherry and madeira. « It wasn’t our intention simply to reproduce a wood look. We felt that the wealth of tones and the splendid colour variation and bleached effect of the texture would bring an original touch to the project. » The 20×80 cm planks enhance the sense of depth on the functional walls in the two bathrooms in keeping with the design principle of continuity. Further themes include the play of volumes in the staggered heights of the ceilings, the play of directions reflected in the line of lights and the glass shower screen in the windowless bathroom, and the play of graphic designs on the black and white basketball court drawn on the living room wall. After all, the reference to sport represents « the game of domestic life that has just begun », concludes the architect.

ABK, Soleras
porcelain stoneware
20x80 cm
Caractéristiques techniques
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,3%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GA / GLA
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 45 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 CLASSE A
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications et prix
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