Roberto Perino - Archisbang Lab
There is nothing disorderly or provocative about the project to renovate a residential building in Ivrea commissioned from by the practice Archisbang.
The Turin-based architects have excelled in this field in recent years, completing a number of successful projects such as the residences of Villa Bi, Mimesi and Base.
The Villa Nesi project has strong formal appeal and for this reason has featured in numerous publications, as well as winning an honourable mention in the residential category of the Ceramics of Italy competition « Ceramics and design » in 2012. But at the same time it displays a high level of technical expertise and well-balanced design choices.
The restrained, understated character of the existing building was intentionally maintained and stands in marked contrast to the overtly extraneous new portion. To further accentuate the division between the two parts of the project, the surface of the added volume is enveloped in a glossy red ceramic ventilated façade.
Colour has also been used to create a clear and unambiguous graphic motif, a line that runs from the road to the splendid three-dimensional volume of the entry cubicle and from there extends up the external stairwell to the second-floor volume, culminating in the projecting terrace of the Ferrero art gallery.
The ventilated façade of the added volumes, created with the support of Marazzi Engineering, reinterprets the bright, regular network of crystallised stoneware panels used on the side façade. The hidden anchoring system guarantees visual continuity of the envelope, while the ceramic panels provide an effective, long-term response to the technical requirements of bending and compressive strength, frost resistance, durability, low weight and fire resistance. The range of hi-tech SistemA products, patented by Marazzi and designed with the support of Dal Lago Associati, can be customised in terms of their finish, colours and other characteristics. The complex geometries of Villa Nesi also required custom cuts and bespoke solutions for panel anchoring.
The natural lustre of the SistemA crystal-covered surface combined with the coloured body results in exceptionally intense colours and a strong material presence, making this finish the ideal choice for high-traffic spaces and for special applications such as ventilated façades and raised floors.
The Lux finish is achieved through a process of honing (abrasive polishing) the ceramic elements to attain higher than normal gloss levels. SistemA is produced from meticulously selected raw materials, including 40% or more recycled materials. This, together with the product’s technical specifications, has enabled it to obtain Leed® and Ecolabel certification.
Attention to detail is one of the most striking aspects of Archisbang’s splendid architectural project. The final images on these pages show how the practice has used ceramic materials effectively on various scales. It is a powerful, utterly convincing architectural concept in which ceramic proved to be a reliable and versatile ally.