Industrial archeology and art-design objects freely mingle in this interior in London, illuminated by the special natural light that just the riverside cities possess. This raw and brutal space, carved with lights and shadows, inspired an approach to multiply suggestions through minimal details, composing a narrative that is never unique but free and multifaceted. The imposing essence of the space encouraged a desire to experiment with new connections between the architecture and the objects, by mixing rigorous choices and poetic concessions to decoration.
The living area is an open space, illuminated by the wide windows typical of industrial archaeology. The choice of arranging the furniture along an ideal central axis naturally organizes the space and creates an orderly visual continuity. The huge modular (leather) sofa in seventies style embraces the lounge area. With its curved line, it introduces the feeling of a more intimate dimension where objects defined by a powerful artistic expressiveness are perfectly at ease, as the provocative presence of a wall carpet inspired by the famous painting by Gustave Courbet, L’Origine du monde.
A transparent separation element suggests the direct relationship between the living and the night area, removing every visual and conceptual barrier. The large marble table represents a rational element of classic balance, rigorously proportioned to the space. It is designed to dialogue with some iconic design pieces still able to fascinate, like the surrealist-inspired wall lamp. More than essential and almost invisible, the kitchen is a perfect expression of geometric abstraction; no functional element is visible, forcing the perception of emptiness.
The presence of an old olive tree emphasizes the sacredness of nature. The seat around the tree has got the symbolic energy of a mystical space for meditation and contemplation, energy made even stronger by the “not-mirror mirror” deforming the context.
The staircase, composed by detached elements, is a free tribute to Carlo Scarpa’s visionary design of the Olivetti showroom in Venice. The staircase leads to a mezzanine floor that expresses the intimate and silent atmosphere of a museum space. Two armchairs and a painting, nothing else is required to get into a soft and suspended dimension of dialogue with art, suggesting an ideal connection between the spaces of sociality and the personal domestic spaces.
The first of the private environment is a large dressing room inspired by the atmosphere of Berlin’s avant-garde boutiques. Exhibited as in a window, the outfit steals the spotlight in the mise-en-scène, surrounded by retro-inspired display cabinets and futuristic furnishings. The master bedroom has a monastic essentiality. It is a shelter and an alcove. With its essential and geometric design inspired by the Japanese aesthetics, the bed is the heart of the space. A work, realized by the Informal Italian artist Alberto Burri in the second post-war period, oversees the most intimate area of the house.
In a curious creative game based on contrasts, the rational image of the bed acts as a counterpoint with the marble sink that introduces to the en-suite bathroom, a material and hyper-expressive object, extracted “per levare” from a block of rough stone. A domestic vision that draws on a museum concept through the search for asymmetries, through the balance between full and empty and the contrast between reflections and transparencies.
Photography courtesy of Francesco Meneghello