Florence, Italy


85 sqm



Photos by

Maurizio Marcato

“Every three-dimensional room created by my Studio has the primary objective of becoming somewhere that carries and transmits emotions. All the places that have been created by me and my colleagues were conceived to touch the sub-conscious of the metropolitan visitor, to create suggestion, to tell new volumetric tales beyond reality. The design of a living space is never a linear process; each time I start a new project, I find myself faced with a challenge that tests my mind and my skills. Today a greater number of psycho-functional parameters come into play and integrate osmotically to contribute to the definition of a specific anti-canonic organism for the man of our times. The use of the word ‘organism’ is not coincidental, but is the very heart of my design being: creating a home for a human being cannot be summarized as the detailed study of a place for functions, but goes beyond this and gives it soul, a sensitivity that can interact and converse with the sub-conscious, thus creating a source of constantly renewable energy between the ‘ space organism’ and the ‘human organism’. The design challenge often begins from the physical limits. In this case we were dealing with a small area of just 85 sq.m. that had to house a living room, a kitchen, a laundry room, a larder, a dining area, bathroom and two bedrooms. In view of the small size of this Florentine home, located on the top floor of an early 20th century building at the foot of the beautiful hills around Settignano, I decided to demolish all the existing ceiling and knock down the useless voluminous partition walls to re-build with dynamic movement of the lowered ceilings, the mild aberrations of the walls, the mirrored facades, the units-not-units, a spatial environment characterized by continuous and infinite volumetric discoveries and progressive diversified apparitions in relation to the variable point of view of the observer. The choice of the arch-like features, the materials and the colors served to give the place a sense of space. The use of mirrors to face the large partition walls had a two-fold function: to amplify the space and to hide the storage units as well as creating optical illusions that guide the observer’s eye. The colors used are pale, for both the finishes and the furniture: Canadian maple wood for the floors; white frames and walls; the armchair, pouf and settee in te living room are covered in white leather with a chrome-plated metal structure; the table in glass, white wood and steel; the large white unit-not-unit kitchen with small chrome-plated knobs with its real purpose almost totally camouflaged. However, this relaxing candor had to be interrupted by some features that contribute to creating a singular space. The choice of the sculpture-like radiators in chrome-plated steel which run from floor-to-ceiling and confer a vertical dimension to the ambience, or alternately, the idea of painting two of the doors canary yellow and continue the perception up to the ceiling, thus creating vertical slits on the white walls and interrupting the psycho-physical sterility of the surrounding candor. The central point of the entire arrangement, entrusted to the intriguing movements of the lowered ceilings and the embrasure of the walls, is a large wall with painted oblique slits designed to resemble a city wall damaged by the flood waters. This theatrical illustration produces two different perceptive and psychological effects: on the one hand it ‘virtually’ defines and separates two spatial areas (kitchen-dining room and living room), and on the other it guarantees the correct equilibrium inside the residential unit. As the unit lacks ironic splashes of dark, it would have lost some of its identity and possibly been lost in the chasm of banal. The bedroom follows the same creative criteria modified on the basis of the destination: pale colors are again the basic component, the full-wall mirrors continue to produce the psychological opening, the radiators are once again sculpture-like creations (horizontal in this case), but the feature that establishes equilibrium, joy and astonishment is no longer a dark color as in the living room, or the use of bright colors but a series of relief words in silver which run across two walls and the ceiling creating an unusual visual field, a sort of macro-page transformed into something three-dimensional. A final comment is reserved to a tiny but essential space: the bathroom! A neutral floor in self-leveling cement was laid. This was then treated with slaked lime and opaque transparent resin. It provides a contrasting backdrop with the white ceramic bathroom suite, the unpainted walls (that have been subjected to the same treatment as the floor) and the bathtub. On the back wall, there is a micro-perforated steel screen that hides the radiator and the lighting system of blue neon lights. The light passes through and dematerializes the steel, transforming it as though by magic from a solid element to an enchanting mermaid which leads the thoughts of the sailors prostrated at her feet.”
Simone Micheli


Abet laminati, Adrenalina, Alpes Inox, Barberini Allestimenti, Bticino, BMA, Braconi Costruzioni, Ceramica Catalano, Compagnia d’Arredo, Dornbracht/Marquardt, Elletronic, Enzo Bertazzo, Euroresine, Gaggiolini, iGuzzini Illuminazione, Hox, Maggesi &Figli, Maurizio Cortonicchi, Maxitalia, M.B. Arredamenti Metallici, Morini & Mancinelli, Oikos , Ridolfi Impianti, Silent Gliss Italia, Sturm Und Plastic, Teuco Guzzini, Zazzeri

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