Architectural devices, contemporary volumes, light and functional – surprising intrusions –, mark, organize and define the spaces and the fluid and luminous paths of houses housed in ancient Turin buildings, to create interior landscapes full of charm that reveal unexpected treasures, re-emerged after years of oblivion.
These are the features that unite three residential projects made by R3 architetti, a design studio founded by architects Gian Nicola Ricci, Matteo Restagno, Alexandru Popescu and Marco Pippione. Former students of the Polytechnic of Turin, the young and enterprising designers opened their first space in 2015 in the multi-ethnic district of San Salvario, creating a temporary and flexible structure in innocent tubes in just 13 square meters.
For R3 architects, the project is not only prediction but also discovery. Like Bligny 10, the restructuring intervention in an eighteenth-century building created with the aim of bringing to light the ancient vaulted structure under which to insert new structures that respond to the contemporary functions of living but, surprisingly, have also appeared a frame and a polycentric arch.
Within the very fragmented layout of the apartment located on the noble floor of Palazzo Ricardi di Netro in the Roman quadrilateral of Turin, the intervention of R3 architetti brought order through the insertion of an architectural device that contains a series of support functions.
Without corridors, the passages from one room to another in the house that belongs to a painter are fluid, filtered only by the presence of the polycarbonate volume, which accompanies, with its lightness, respectful of the historical context in which it is inserted, and with the brightness that emanates, from the entrance to the heart of the house.
Some retractable doors lead to the more intimate rooms, while in correspondence with the bedroom the volume houses the private bathroom and walk-in closet.
Turin's oldest buildings often hide small treasures waiting to be unearthed. The designers of R3 architetti have noticed this and intervene with attention and meticulous care every time precious testimonies of the past re-emerge during their renovations.
As in the case of the C’era una volta (Once upon a time) project, where the unexpected presence of a frescoed vault reveals that the apartment is the result of the fragmentary subdivision, built over different eras, of a nineteenth-century noble floor.
The project thus proposed to recover some original valuable elements, enhancing them in order to reconcile the pre-existing historical buildings with the functions necessary for contemporary living. The large structural vault has been completely freed from a series of false ceilings which have stratified over time, leaving some frescoed parts exposed.
The living area and the sleeping area are separated by a simple translucent polycarbonate partition that allows you to immediately read the entire configuration of the apartment. The door frames were aligned according to the ancient distribution scheme of the house, underlining its stately role as a passage from one room to another without the use of corridors.
All the service functions have been placed in a white and minimal architectural structure, lowered than the vault shutter, which includes the entrance, bathroom, kitchen and walk-in closet. The volume – clean and pure – stands in contrast to the opulence of the ceiling fresco, emphasizing its preciousness.
Ancient and modern therefore relate by contrast, through contemporary interventions in harmony with the history that surrounds them.
Domvs is a small independent villa in an early 1900s building in the Sal Salvario district, designed by R3 architetti for a young couple. Protagonist of the radical restructuring, the vertical development of the residence, the result of the merger of two residential units.
In a duplex with full-height spaces that communicate with each other, the staircase plays a crucial role in the organization of the spaces. The dynamic suspended iron staircase leads to the upper floor from the kitchen with island. What stands out in the living area is the large portal with perforated sheet metal doors that frames the wall-mounted oak kitchen block which in turn contains a travertine ‘box’, in a sort of matryoshka of volumes and materials that fits into the perfection.
In an inspired dialogue with the pre-existing structures, the custom-made iron structure of the full-wall bookcase takes up the rhythm of the sequence of the floor joists, one of the first cast in brick and concrete in Turin. The sleeping area consists of a bedroom with attached bathroom and walk-in closet, hallway, smaller bedroom and second bathroom. The upper attic floor, which has an independent access, can be configured as an annex.
For the interior design concept, the clients' request was specific: a tribute to Rome. Hence a careful selection of colors, finishes and materials, such as Travertine used both for the kitchen and for the windowsills and cocciopesto, chosen for the entrance floor. Among the furnishings, the Lapis sofa by Amura, stands out, whose soft volumes are inspired by the shapes shaped by the passage of time of the cobblestones that cover the ancient Roman streets.