A store converted into a multicoloured home
Jacopo Carli (Eutropia Architettura)
«Space, light and colour were the guiding principles of our project to convert a former household goods store into a small home,» explained architect Jacopo Carli from the Florence-based practice Eutropia Architettura when describing the renovation and change of use project for a store in the town of Regello near Florence. «The original space was a large, empty store, its height reduced by the presence of a false ceiling,» he continued. «It was a blank slate without any specific characteristics but with all the opportunities that an empty canvas presents to the designer. The biggest challenge was to create all the necessary living areas without compromising the quality of the original open-plan space, which we did by exploiting the large clearances and heights and using mezzanines for functional specialisation while maintaining spatial continuity.»
To optimise the available spaces, the architect chose to reduce the size of the bathrooms while maximising the open-plan living and socialisation spaces. Multifunctionality was one of the key design criteria behind the process of spatial definition. The kitchen storage units are incorporated into the space below the staircase leading to the mezzanine, a choice that underscores the close relationship between interior design and architecture.
Light also plays a key role in enhancing certain specific spaces and as a tool for enhancing daily living comfort and well-being. Commenting on the relationship between light and design, Jacopo Carli said: «The key to optimising the usage of surfaces was the fifth façade, in other words the roof. By using ceiling windows and sun pipes, we allowed natural light to flow into the entire apartment, even reaching the innermost spaces which were not illuminated by the large windows opening onto the private garden.»
After determining the layout of the spaces and adopting the requisite plant upgrades and structural modifications, the next step was to think about the finishes — including the surface coverings and colours — with the aim of giving a strong identity to the entire project. «The finishes further emphasise spatial and functional choices made to optimise quality in terms of emotional appeal and practicality,» explained Carli. «We envisage the choice of finishings and materials as a way of conveying to our customers the ideas that we draw on paper. Because the quality of life of the end user is always at the centre of our projects, we chose wood for the living and sleeping areas, hexagonal ceramic tiles to create a sense of traditional identity and decoration in the kitchen, and other bold coloured tiles to characterise the aesthetic and functional qualities of the two bathrooms.»
In the kitchen we aimed to create a continuous design on the floor and walls that would mark a clear separation from the living room parquet. To achieve this, the architects chose Examatt porcelain tiles from Tonalite, including the Exatarget decoration with its traditional floral motif available in two different shades of grey.
Grigio Chiaro, Grigio Medio
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,5%
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 35 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant