UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

“Asnago & Vender ” table produced by Pallucco , “Zig -Zag” chairs by G. Rietveld for Cassina , “14.14″ chandelier by Bocci, ceramic turtle by Diego Dutto (unique piece – Marco Cappello gallery).

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

Stainless steel modules by Boffi , hanging cabinet and tall module designed by Marcante – Testa (UdA architects), “Nuit” recessed led lighting by Kreon , “Obbiettivo” spotlights by Viabizzuno, “Maestrale” lamp by Denis Santachiara.

 

The latest project by our friends from UDA Architetti (previously here and here) sits on the mezzanine level of a building overlooking Turin’s Piazza San Carlo, the symbol of the city. This 150sqm three bedroom apartment is crafted with rigorous attention to detail. Each element – the shape and size of surfaces, the furniture, objects and fittings, tells a story that goes beyond their initial appearance.

Now, I must be frank with you guys – UDA Architetti’s description of the project had me both intrigued and perplexed, and I’ve literally spent hours trying to edit the text  to do it justice. However, I feel like I’ve failed miserably. So I’ve decided to take the easy way out and share their words (almost) verbatim. Are you ready? I warn you, it’s trippy stuff, although it’s quite interesting.


What do De Chirico’ Italian Squares have in common with Fruttero & Lucentini’s bestseller novel and an apartment developed by UDA Architects in Turin? They certainly share a kind of “obscenity” or revealing/ concealing of a substrate of reality scattered with clues like the plot of a detective novel – a mixture of high and low, the dramatic and grotesque, bland and sophisticated, disturbing and reassuring.

Due to our physiological traits, we humans cannot simultaneously see what is in front of us and behind us. The boundaries of our visual field are something we share with all living beings, although, unlike all the rest, only human are aware of it. Perhaps on a deeper level this explains the origins of our anxiety, doubts and questioning about the very existence and substance of visible reality.

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

D70 sofa designed by Osvaldo Borsani and produced by Tecno, P40 lounge chair designed by Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno (unique piece in ostrich leather), T1 and T2 coffee tables designed by Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno , Berber carpet (from Battilossi.it), “TMM ” floor lamp with wood base designed by Miguel Milà and produced by Santa & Cole, floor iron candle holders “Luminotti” designed by Toni Cordero (prototypes, manufacturing by Salvati) , floor lamp in iron and painted wood designed by Mario Pandiani (studio6m.com), “Nuit ” recessed led lighting produced by Kreon , sitting woman sculpture by Piero Gallina (Marco Cappello Gallery, Torino)

 

Stretching things slightly, it is as if all man’s pondering over the objective nature of the world could simply be traced back to the lack of a “third eye” set on the back of our neck, which would allow us to see all around us. Hence the sometimes disturbing nature of vision and the places perceived by means of it.

All this, of course, is only supposed to be thought-provoking, but if we consider how, for example, film has developed an “alternative kind of vision” (seeing a crime through the murder’s own eyes, etc), then this issue moves out of the realms of intellectual provocation and becomes substance of our everyday lives and above all into the spaces constructed by man.

An apartment built on the mezzanine level of a building overlooking the square that symbolises the city of Turin, turns into a modern-day theatre representing a certain idea of the bourgeois home – the home of the Turin professional middle classes, through its spaces and the furniture inside it, all embodying reassuring engineering precision and subtle concerns. 

 

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

 

The building plan, characterised by a tunnel-shaped progression from the rear to the drawing room facing the square, the windows opening onto the square itself with the shape and size of the “oculus” of the facade. The need to set out the relational spaces in the living quarters as zones that can be seen from outside, provide the initial input for the construction of a vaguely metaphysical home environment.

If we can use De Chirico’s definition of metaphysics in his paintings, according to which “metaphysics is that new kind of truth that is concealed in all objects if only we can manage to see it or imagine it outside its usual context”. This also applies to the furniture and furnishing in the artist’s opinion, who said “the curious appearance that beds, wardrobes, mirrors, sofas and tables take on when we suddenly come across them out in the street, in a setting in which we are unaccustomed to seeing them, has already been noted on more than one occasion. All these pieces of furniture appear to us in a different light, assembled in a strange kind of solitude: a deep intimacy develops between them”.

 

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

“Regency” chair designed by Toni Cordero (out of production) , “Vision NexT” bedside tables produced by Pastoe , table lamp designed by Toni Cordero  (prototype, Salvati production)

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

Table, bed and bookcase designed by Marcante – Testa (UdA architects), “Flowerpot” white and yellow hanging lamps designed by Verner Panton, vintage bedcover (Spazio Bloom Gallery, Torino), table lamp model n. 205 produced by La Lampe Gras.

UdA Architetti Apartment Renovation in Torino Italy | Yellowtrace

Table, bed and  cabinets designed by Marcante – Testa (UdA architects), “Modus” chair produced by Tecno, table and wall lamps by La Lampe Gras, “Flowerpot” black suspended lamps designed by Verner Panton, “Dedal” wall bookshelf in perforated metal, designed by Matégot for Gubi,  vintage bedcover (Spazio Bloom Gallery, Torino)

 

So the home becomes an imagined place based on very precise rules, like in a novel, where the places invented in the story are more “true” and “real” than places in the real world. The reality we perceive as objective can be interpreted differently by each of us – in contrast we are all forced to assign a status of immutability and certainty to literary descriptions, otherwise the story itself would be impossible.

This also applies to the apartment in question. Here all the elements: the shape and size of the surfaces, the fixed furniture, the small objects and fittings in the various premises, tell us of something that goes beyond their initial appearance, actually penetrating into the folds of everyday life.

The furniture, designed like isolated objects inhabiting a landscape between the interior and exterior, belongs to the category of the unusual and obscure –  it has an immediate air of familiarity and, at the same time, mysteriousness. A mixture of having been rediscovered and never-previously-seen, known and unknown, in a delicate balance between what we already know about a space and that feeling of disorientation we experience when faced with something new.


Words by V. Camagna/ UdA Architects (edited by Yellowtrace).

Project Team: Andrea Marcante, Adelaide Testa/ UDA Architetti
Collaborators: Giada Mazzero, Eirini Giannakopoulou
Photos: Carola Ripamonti

See more projects by UDA Architetti on Yellowtrace.

 


[Photography by Carola Ripamonti, courtesy of UdA Architetti.]

 

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