Contemporary art for living
Alessandra Raso, Cliostraat
Fresh from its honourable mention on 29 June 2016 in the Ceramics and Design competition, with the jury statement noting that the project « demonstrates how it is possible to customise the functions of a space intended to house contemporary art while respecting its aesthetics and without forgetting linguistic aspects », the design of the Caffetteria Spazio7 bathrooms marks the most recent transformation of a centre which is evolving together with its city. The Italian contemporary art foundation Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, established in 1995 to promote contemporary art, opened its Turin space to the public in the city’s former industrial area occupied by the Fergat factory, converted by architect Claudio Silvestrin into a multifunctional arts centre capable of hosting exhibitions, concerts, events and debates, equipped with a restaurant and cafeteria, both renowned for their excellent food. In 2014, Emilio Re Rebaudengo renewed the management of these two restaurant areas and relaunched the cafeteria designed by Italian artist Rudolf Stingel, making it accessible to the public at all times of day, even after dinner.
The design of the new bathrooms at the Caffetteria Spazio7, by architect Alessandra Raso/Cliostraat, is characterised by a dialogue with Stingel’s prestigious design, and offers a response to two requirements: the need to give the bathrooms a clear and distinctive personality, and the need to make an essential statement in a setting which is itself a work of art. Having set itself the objective of making a controlled, essential graphic and communicative statement, the design proposes a decorative skin which manifests its power through repetition and a monochromaticity which stands aloof from the colours of art. Given the need to also satisfy the requirements of durability, ease of maintenance for a high traffic site, sustainability, hygiene and non-toxicity, TreverkSign wood effect porcelain by Marazzi was the obvious choice, in the Black, Smoke and Grey tones for the walls, and Black for the floors. The three-dimensional graphic design made it necessary to produce construction drawings for every detail, laying specifications for each elevation, and continual collaboration with R.M.A. and its technicians, who actually installed the tiles. The neutral white of the furnishings, windows, surrounds and accessories blends discreetly into the optical effect of the uninterrupted walls, in a powerful visual context perceived as a single space, broken only by the mirrors which themselves multiply the effects and vistas.