The project behind this private house results from its unique location, almost sixty metres from ground level in the Reale Mutua Tower in Turin's Piazza Castello, the heart of the city's urban planning design throughout three centuries and eleven Savoia generations. From its windows, on each of the Tower's four sides, and from its glass/cement balcony, the view of the whole city and the surrounding countryside is simply breathtaking. Its position in the Piazza and its exceptional height afford the viewer a privileged outlook on the urban landscape, with its Classical Baroque streets, the royal squares, the 'Via Diagonale', the domes, various palaces, nineteenth century lines and tollgates.
These are all perfect attributes for the house of an architect, namely Benedetto Camerana, who has lived in it as one would in an observatory, gazing down upon the city where he works and to which he has contributed on a number of occasions: for example, form the south-facing windows, one may make out the unmistakable shape of the Olympic Arch. The project began development with the elimination of all traditionally built internal walls, to realise an essentially uninterrupted and flowing space on all four sides, to give the sensation of a large, airy loft in the sky, or that of living in a Zeppelin, floating and permantently anchored above the Piazza.
The exhilarating view from such a great height is interpreted by Camerana as a call back to the emotions felt by those first lucky few to travel by aeroplane, to the thrill of seeing an approaching New York skyline on the horizon, to the curved, 1962, Saarinen-designed lines of the TWA airport terminal, and to the design of a Jumbo Jet's upper deck.The design project for the house, developed with Bodino spa, reinterprets this cultural imagery with cylindrical surfaces in navy blue polyester, which enclose the round kitchen and two bathrooms, in turn painted in a brilliant Pantone yellow, which contrasts vividly with various shades of grey along the walls, which remind one of a hazy sky, fading from white, to grey, to blue.
References to air travel and the 1960's continue throughout the rest of the house with the inclusion of historical and iconic design features, such as the Tulip Chair, the Tulip Low Table, Womb Chairs – designed by Saarinen himself for Knoll – and the playful Ball Chair (Eero Arnio, 1966), complemented by more contemporary elements, including a large, 'night club green', On The Rocks couch by Edra, or a black Ferro table designed by Lissoni for Porro, all resting on an omnipresent wengè wood-slat floor, developed by Mondo, save for the bedroom, where the wooden slats are replaced by a lush, long woollen carpet.
Camerana & Partners
Via Viotti 1 - 10121 Turin (TO)
Cultural Centres, Malls, Museums, Other