TT2 - I Volumi Houses

TT2 - I Volumi Houses







The that includes residence and commercial surfaces on the ground floor, is located n the building curtain along a tree-lined slip road within the city of Cremona and it is the result of an experimental project: the aim is to concatenate sectorial typological solutions and articulated architectural volumes in the same structure. The building represents the idea of bright commercial surfaces through refined mirrors on the street, the concept of housing of high residential quality and the notion of two-level suspended villa, an artist's residence, connecting these distinct forms of living in a single complex. Therefore the architecture is multifaceted, appearing a linear street front that in rising exposes projecting volumes, marked by the prominence of glazed walls and primary colors in the cladding, and dematerialized transparent volumes, which form an interruption in the strongly drawn materiality. The intent seems to be directed toward an open and evident confrontation of contrasts and oppositions defined by the project in an architecture that wants to express its own experimental contribution, by volumes, geometric forms (that are regular and orthogonal, but connected in a disruptive combination) and the wall surfaces themselves. 

The fronts programmatically assume the need to offer luminous and perceptual variations, adding to the prepainted aluminum facade cladding a feature of liquidity, by laying down a transparent polyurethane casting so that the colors change as the light changes, in addition, the presence of the light and irregular reliefs makes  indistinct the very material of the cladding.  

The geometry of the volumes is segmented and on the front the upper level is divided into two opposing attics, free on all sides; the thin blue volume is contrasted by a cube in the primary red color, on which a parallelepiped clad in anthracite Rheinzink is grafted and suspended. Volumes orthogonal to the main body on the street front, raised on slender steel pilotis, disarticulate the building in a complex dynamic, which nevertheless remains within a stated and still legible geometry, crowned by flat garden roofs, to offer spectacular views toward the ancient monumental fabric of the city.

The design aims to dematerialize and make the architecture essential, concentrated, even in the sequence of compositional inventions: the interiors, especially in the suspended villa, also obey this logic of introducing an ambivalence of geometries and transparencies, crossing horizontal scans and vertical aspirations, caesuras in the fronts and upward escapes in the interiors. The long blue glazed tunnel, which runs through the body of the building and overhangs the front, is a measure of this ambivalence: it is simultaneously interior and exterior, transparent and protective, it is a boundary and an escape. Thus, the idea of privileged views toward the city also governs the composition of the living quarters: glass windows make the corners of the building dematerialized, staircases with glass steps become almost invisible in interiors punctuated by opaque or reflective walls, by textured maple wood ceilings and by artworks scattered on surfaces and emerging in the space of the living rooms.

Architectural details underscore the incisive character of the project; the inventive abundance catalogs and argues the experimental line. In the suspended villa, the glazed lower volume orients "liquid" and immaterial conditions inside, accentuated by the interior mirrored surfaces that reverberate light. On the upper level, the atmosphere is transformed following obvious textures of materials which are contrasted in the rigor of the room's form: white plaster, oak wood floor, vulcanized gray, a wall covered in black leather with a refined texture concealing the doors to the rooms behind.At the same time all these contrasts lead back to the unity and to the essentiality of the architectural design.


And emotional paths abound. The elevator with transparent cabin accompanies the movement with walls enriched by a performance art, in which images are passed in accelerated review, finally offering the surprise of a higher landing in the glazed cube of the roof garden overlooking the city. The upward tension is reflected with great luminous evidence along the glazed, immaterial staircase: it connects the floors of the suspended villa and it leads to the roof-garden, through a horizontally sliding skylight in continuous and immediate contact with the sky. Inside the suspended villa, the reference to Antonio Stradivari's hometown innervates a path of emotions; the classical forms of the violins on the ceiling segment the spaces, until reconstructing the unity of the design in the string quartet that concludes the decoration of the living area.

Materials and lights: natural light filters through the motorized blinds, concealed in the wooden veils, which allow the surrounding urban harmony to shine through and the entire interior space to permeate moreover, the spotlights with random distribution reflect light on the walls making the environment ethereal and immaterial and accentuating the tension of the building and the living quarters. A new relationship between interior and exterior is established according to which immateriality in the light reverberations suggest reflective ways of living, accompanied by the elegance of materials.

Francesco Pagliari

Giorgiò Palù Architetto