Primo Atelier designed the identity of this modern open space, in Naples, with only two decisive codes (also) for the definition of the different domestic areas: material and color

Despite being organized in environments and domestic areas that are well finished in their function, this home designed by the architecture studio Primo Atelier meets the definition of open space: a large space, dedicated to fluid living and without doors or walls. Here, the elements functional to the division of the areas are not 'separators' but 'connectors'.

To design its identity, the architects reasoned on the use of only two tools, although expertly calibrated: matter and colour. Two faithful partners who have strategically made it possible to design an apartment based on the strong dialogue between interiors and exteriors.

To do this, the Prima Atelier team studied the daily habits of the owners, identifying which were the most exploited areas and which were the central activities in the family's daily routine.

This is how the large living room overlooking the city of Naples was born, with the function of the connecting heart of the entire apartment: it merges simultaneously with the kitchen and relaxation area, while maintaining these two areas separated from each other; it opens up to the outdoor space and communicates discreetly with the sleeping area.

The basic idea was to start from a comfortable 'white box' designed to accommodate the private and public activities of the family, within which two volumes were then inserted functional wooden cabinets that also play the role of wardrobes.

To better understand where to start organizing an open space (and how to do it with an aesthetic and functional sense) we asked some questions to the architects Alessandro Schetter and Emanuele Cicatiello of Prima Atelier, who followed the project.

Where to start when designing an open space?

Alessandro Schetter and Emanuele Cicatiello of Prima Atelier: "The design of an open space, according to our experience, starts from two fundamental assumptions: the characteristics of the space and the needs of the client.

It is the mix of these two instances that allows us to shape an open space tailored to the people who will live there and which enhances elements such as the morphology, exposure and proportions of the space to be designed.

We therefore believe that the open space is the physical place of expression of the subjective way of life of each of us, it is up to us to make it concrete and visible".

What focal points is the balance of spaces in an open space based on?

Alessandro Schetter and Emanuele Cicatiello of Prima Atelier: "We need to wisely measure the amount of space to dedicate to individual daily activities; generally we identify some focal moments to which we dedicate a certain importance , so we find ourselves managing the amount of space to dedicate to different activities.

Such as preparing meals, areas for individual or family relaxation, areas dedicated to work, sports or hobby activities.

In addition to functional issues, it is important to identify the proportions of the environment as depending on its proportions the space could be squashed, too long or too narrow. Based on the sensations we want to bring out, we use different design tricks to re-proportion it.

In this specific case we even tried to proportion the space by relating it to the garden through the large glass windows so as to make the external area the protagonist of the open space, giving a solution of continuity between the interior and the 'outside, even eliminating any change in height, impediment or change of flooring between the areas mentioned".

What are the strategic elements that determine the different areas / spaces to be lived in?

Alessandro Schetter and Emanuele Cicatiello of Prima Atelier: "Some elements can help us divide the rooms within an open space, giving our eye the illusion of fragmenting the areas of interest while still having the sensation of a totally open place without barriers.

Some of these may be level jumps, therefore steps on the horizontal plane that allow us to divide the macro areas of the open space, for example between the living area and the kitchen; or glass partitions or curtains which can also make the space multifaceted and constantly evolving according to needs, or even a simple change of flooring".

How do you manage a kitchen in an open space?

Alessandro Schetter and Emanuele Cicatiello of Prima Atelier: "The management of the kitchen in an open space represents in the design phase an opportunity for reflection on the client's domestic living and his possible family.

We can design kitchens that are protagonists of the space as they represent a fundamental place for daily living, on the other hand we can also have more essential kitchens that they carve out a lateral or in any case non-dominant space since the moment of preparing meals does not represent a key moment of domestic life.

The kitchen in the open space represents an ongoing social change in which the moment of preparing meals is already a moment of conviviality, therefore a central moment of daily life and not a collateral one.

This change is obviously caused by the change in the pace of life in which we have less and less time to dedicate to domestic family moments, but the kitchen always remains one of the most important domestic hearths capable of uniting people during all daily cycles".

What is the role of the chosen materials? How did you think about it? Can you tell us a little about the tones and materials used?

Alessandro Schetter and Emanuele Cicatiello of Prima Atelier: "In our Colli 461 project (this is the name of the project, ed) the materials are an expression of domestic living spaces.

Essentially the house is made up of two distinct areas which represent the public and intimate spaces, we used a contrasting color palette between the horizontal and vertical elements to best identify such areas.

The day area, i.e. the living room, is characterized by light colors such as the Roman travertine and the white of the walls and curtains as well as the steel kitchen, a fundamental element of reflection and refraction of light".

"The sleeping area, or rather the private one, is made up of dark colours such as gray Graphite marble and areas clear in Carrara marble for the spa and personal care areas.

The wooden partitions in Canaletto walnut essence represent the elements of connection between the areas of the house thanks also to the large movable vertical partitions capable of making the different rooms communicate or not.

The contrast of the materials suggests a different use of the domestic environments while guaranteeing balance and chromatic comfort in the entire apartment.

Obviously this contrast is made more evident by the fact that the project is based on an idea of an integral open space, where the living and sleeping areas coexist in the same space without clear divisions".