Emanuela and Luca Rizzo


Casatenovo Brianza, Milan - Italy


350 sqm



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In a traditional residential area of Milanese suburbia, in an oasis of peace and tranquillity in a verdant and serene area, a three-story villa, characterized by clean, crisp and strong lines, emerges with sudden power in a developed area previously devoid of any particularly distinctive elements. Casa Rizzo represents the culmination of meditation on the tools of contemporary architecture and conceptual reflection on a new way to view private space; it is the manifestation of a thought, a design philosophy that is not reduced to dogmatic repetition of forms and habits but that explores dynamic spatial alternatives and singular interconnections between things. A bowed oxidized copper roof surfaces like an independent body from the ground floor, bounded by sloping perimeter walls, destabilising the asymmetrical geometries that reverberate in the oblique cut

of the railing onto the street and simultaneously proposing an opposing and contradictory universe. An independent reality, free from restrictions, that vehemently denies the rules of traditional work, reflecting the disorientation of contemporary society which, no longer identifying with the now empty effigies of the past, pursues with illogical unease uncharted truths, renewed ethical contents, and exciting sensory experiences. A wide walk up to the houses paved in cream-coloured prun stone terminates at the entrance portal and marquise, a large L-shaped element that conceals the stainless steel door and that

separates itself from the sharp, clear surfaces of the street-side façade. This side of the house is denoted by its lack of windows to protect the private space to the outside, to individualise the construction, and to distinguish a thought

from an anonymous context, devoid of personality. This wall is symbolic of an architectonic-conceptual work, the abstraction of an idea, a means of protesting against a deadening of the senses and the intellect; it is a tangibile separation between two diametrically opposing worlds, the world of convention and the world of change; it is disassociation from a world of non-explosive action, from a listless and sluggish creative imagination, an icon of a denial and simultaneously, an emblem of reawakening. The prun stone flooring, with its cream colouring and rough hewn finish, contrasts with the green colour of the copper roof and lends elegance and sophistication to the composition.

Outdoors, it paves all the floors, from the entrance approach to the walkway that circles the house, to the uncovered patio on the back which provides a view for the enormous picture windows of the dining/living room, ensuring the continuity with the outside that is denied the street side of the home. Here, in a sort of Wright-inspired layout, the home opens out onto the garden through a gradual fusion of the rooms, fluidly moving from the living room to the patio to the lawn. The paved patio, a place of cosy conviviality, acts as a filter between the detached introspection of the inside and the open dimension of the outdoor space, the glass walls transparent partition that divides and unites two physical and psychological conditions, two diverse emotional places. On the upper floor, a second terrace curves around the copper roof, wrapping around the private rooms and commanding a view of the garden: an intermezzo between the outside and inside, it represents a transition between the different conditions. On the lower floor, at the centre of a two-story space illuminated by the curved glass that closes off the roof, stands a reinforced concrete staircase that snakes up a curved wall in flaming scarlet. This wall shields the sleeping quarters behind mirrored doors and compresses the space like a beating heart. A fireplace stands on the opposite wall, also curved and fully lined in steel, while the doors to the closet and the wardrobes are disguised among the pattern of

the brushstrokes. The sitting room opens onto the sunlight and fresh air of the garden thanks to the large windows on the back that find a correspondence in the transparency of the partition between dining room and kitchen, a physical barrier for fumes and odours, but virtually imperceptible, immaterial and evanescent like an invisible stage curtain.


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