CASA AL’EUR  Interiors projects are unique and never equal to one another: they adapt to different cities, districts, people, needs, expectations and budgets. The design process instead, is always the same: starting from the city, narrowing down to the district, people, keeping in consideration the needs, trying to fit the expectations and budgets. Rome, Eur District – 1970. The tale | abstract of an interview to Federico Fellini.
“In fact, this is a district that I truly like. I don’t know why I like it so much, there are many reasons, perhaps the most obvious one lies in that work of art, the artistic atmosphere, the metaphysical verve, that it’s even too obvious to be reminded: the metaphysical painting by De Chirico. That’s it. But the Eur District gives you a sense of lightness, like living in the setting of a panting, therefore it expresses a vigour, a sensation of freedom, since a painting is only characterized by aesthetic rules, there are no relations, other than those with solitude and objects. Thus, this district appears to nourish, stimulate this sense of freedom, of alibi: this sense of something pending, a flat horizon, an unlikelihood: there are empty homes, uninhabited homes, buildings created for ghosts, statues”.
Rome, Eur District – 2011- 2013.
The project – The development We are in a city within a city, the idea of Piacentini [Eur district’s architect in 1938] was a city of the future that could combine modernity and classicism of Roman architecture. The flat is a duplex of middle-class aspect, articulated on two storeys – roof-top and penthouse – with an internal area of approx. 150 square metres, and an external area of 100 square metres, originally designed by architect Claudio Dall’Olio, together with the entire building, around 1953. The distribution of the rooms, especially due to building additions made in time by the previous owners, appeared complex and not functional, in terms of organisation of the spaces, paths and services. Therefore, the new design aimed at regulating the space and re-position the bathrooms, in addition to fully open the entrance area onto the day and night areas. The original space was respected- where possible – which turned into the “incipit”, together with a contemporary mark in dialogue with Eur district, given by some delicate design choices and exalting a series of contrasts (of material and formal type). A relation was created between past and present time, internal and external space, empty and solid elements, hollow and convex materials, straight and curvilinear geometries, light and shadow details, and large and narrow spaces. The relation between past and present begins when entering the door, underscored by three components: stairway, wardrobe and closet (the latter are fixed furnishing elements).
- The architectural element represented by the stairway built in the 1950s, is preserved and interpreted in contemporary key, by the introduction of a shiny white metal handrail and at the base, a fit-flush baseboard of pastel turquoise colour (typical colour popular at that time), almost as to underscore, like using words;
- The wardrobe at the entrance, finished in fabric, which is an original element, was re-sized in the lower part: this can be accessed from the kitchen, used to store wood;
- The built-in closet, also dated 1950s, was repositioned, from an original central area (that was taking up useful space from the adjacent room), to a new location at the end of the hall, in front of the fireplace;
It continues with the Eur District, with pace dictated by the architectural facades, arcades, building openings and indoors consisting of cut gres based on an on-site plan [with finished horizontal and vertical surfaces]. The finish invades any part of the home connected to the exterior: the entrance, the fireplace, the window panes, the bathrooms and the kitchen and – if necessary – the relative steps and terraces. When coming through the doorway of the flat, a rug stands out, continuation of the stairway that bends orthogonally, becoming a place for short rests; gres is still present, as connection element with the exterior, in the walls and floors, window panes of the living room, divided in three areas: they follow a design that narrows the space towards a central area and expands it at the edges.
Gres is also found on the fireplace (communicating with the exterior), asymmetric and with double exposure on the living room and kitchen, which is separated from the hallway through a retractable transparent crystal door, in order not to hide the view of the fire. The fire is always visible when entering any room. All of the above is combined to a durmast/terracotta flooring with three different finishes in the baseboard, according to the rooms and needs: fit-flush in matt white colour (almost anywhere), fit-flush in pastel turquoise colour (to exalt the stairway), of shiny coved type (where retractable doors have been installed). A constant relation between straight and curvilinear lines. The curvilinear lines are re-proposed (in addition to the stairway), strengthened by a shiny white colour, on the coved skirting: wall/wall (see living room, kitchen entrance), wall/ceiling (see entrance sitting area and lamp-niche in the office area), wall/floor (coved skirting-baseboard). The play elements in the space become key design elements in terms of feasibility, integration and modern character.
This project focuses on quality, preservation of an identity, and integration. A measured and controlled project. A work done on the surfaces as foundations for communication.
The gres material used for the finishes with hallow and convex surfaces, becomes a tactile material that expresses identity, able to combine history and culture, to integrate the views of the marvellous external architectural works.
The modern character is given not only by technological aspects, but also by the theatrical aspect: the latter must be intended as a series of metaphors (applied to the object), as it occurs in the change of scenes on stage, through small gestures or words: in this case, details, take the place of gestures and words, and joining together come to life to create the story.
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