Made in Italy? Yes, please
In the county of Hertfordshire in the east of England, the home of Ledley King, the captain of the Tottenham Hotspur football team, is a splendid example of residential architecture.
From the outside the villa is hard to ignore, projecting a sense of glamour that is at least equal to that of its illustrious occupant. Set in a splendid green area, the building follows the canons of the English tradition but reinterprets them with taste, using the elegant windows and exterior cladding to create personality and character.
The work of Studio Bibliothèque, a highly versatile London-based architecture and design practice, the project starts out from a classic concept of space but enlivens it with intense, vibrant cues with a strongly contemporary appeal.
The interior of the house is conceived as a neutral container modulated by repeated white surfaces that define a homogeneous, highly sophisticated space with appealing touches of theatricality. In particular the central staircase leading to the upper floor is reminiscent of d’Annunzio, especially in the museum-like backdrop used to frame a sculptural artwork.
The ceramic materials from Casalgrande Padana are key components of the project, consisting of large-format sheets installed without grout joints (Unicolore, Meteor and Pietre Etrusche series). Treated like a skin that entirely covers the floor, the porcelain sheets differ from the walls and ceilings only in the glossy polished finish, a feature that underscores the meticulous attention devoted to every detail. The choice of a glass balustrade for the stairs and the upper-floor landing enhances the luminosity of the floors, creating a composition that is at once bold and understated.
Chosen from several different collections, the porcelain tiles offer an outstanding combination of structural and aesthetic qualities based on cutting-edge manufacturing technology and stylistic innovation.
The sense of uniformity and continuity is maintained throughout the residence: the service areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms are treated in the same way as the living room, the dark coloured clean and linear design elements maintaining a high level of rigour. The only pictorial concession is that of the aquariums that appear unexpectedly, set in short, low walls that delimit the spaces facing onto the central area.
This project won second prize in the eighth Grand Prix award, a competition launched by Casalgrande Padana to pay tribute to the finest examples of the use of its products worldwide.
Casalgrande Padana, Unicolore, Pietre Etrusche, Meteor
60x60, 60x120 cm
Bianco B, Bianco Assoluto, Saturnia, Meteor Almond
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): N/mm2 50÷60
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant