p.248 House on the roof
ON A VENETIAN ROOFTOP, AN OLD STRUCTURE WITH BARREL-VAULTED CEILINGS IS JOINED BY TWO NEW TRANSPARENT VOLUMES. Miracles can happen at the gates of Venice. Once upon a time there was a laundry room, a rectangular volume with a vaulted ceiling, part of a residential building dating back to the 1970s. Nothing special, but enough to set Gionata Dal Pozzo, an architect and entrepreneur, to thinking. «It would take some imagination», he says, «to add something that would give it the dignity of a house, but without altering the structure». Using part of the large rooftop, Dal Pozzo has flanked this “heavy” block with two wings of pure lightness. «Two vitrines in glass and steel, canopies with solar panels for energy independence. Placed on the longitudinal axis of the existing portion, they contain the living area (dining and kitchen) and the bedroom zone». Below the vault, pierced by dramatic arches, there is now an atmosphere of intimacy, perfect for conversation, while the transparency of the new spaces conveys a sense of openness to the outside world. The new volumes feature large glazings, making it possible to extend the domestic space outdoors, sheltered by the canopy. The spaces are open and fluid thanks to the elimination of structural encumbrances. Great care has gone into the furnishings. «I work with furniture and decorating on a daily basis. Here I wanted the colors to have a major role. Strong but harmonious, balanced to produce visual contrast with the new white, minimalist spaces». The theatrical approach makes use of many design classics. The Up armchair by Gaetano Pesce, with its ideally feminine curves, fosters intimacy in the vaulted space, while the irregular shape of the Standard sofa by Francesco Binfaré encourages informality, and the Rose Chair by Masanori Umeda seems like an introduction to the secret haven of the bedroom zone. Other pieces, like the Snoopy table lamp designed by Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni, or the big clothespin created by Giulio, Paolo and Michela Baldessari, add amusingly vivid pop tones. Every object is there to play a part, in an overall performance of life that is both engaging and surprising. «The final plot twist is the terrace-garden», Dal Pozzo concludes, referring to another place with an enigmatic aura, featuring the Nemo chair by Fabio Novembre. «It is a home-atelier, for living and working. Professional encounters are transformed into enjoyable, convivial moments, in which clients become friends. Artist friends like the sculptors Bruno Lucchi and Bruno Catalano come to visit. A place to talk about design, art, the world, and life in general».