Built in 1926 and located close to Lake Como, in northern Italy. This gorgeous 270 square meters loft was kept in its original form and holds many of its owner own artwork. Architect and artist Marco Vido has been content with small steps to make it into his dream apartment. Brick walls and windows are untouched, while the concrete floor has got natural parquet in “vulcano oak” from the Austrian manufacturer Mafi.
Text below from Marco Vido:
The loft is 270 square meters. The renovation lasted a little less than one year. There were no technical problems, but we had to keep everything “light”, meaning the new structures had to be light because the building was constructed in the same period of the Novocomum by G. Terragni: 1926.
In those years the structures made of reinforced concrete were futuristic, but now they are delicate. The whole “shell” is original. I didn’t want to change anything. Winter is freezing, but I accepted it in a monastic way and with respect for the life of the people who worked here. Sometimes my sons complain, but they know that these are priceless values. Respect. We have to respect those who worked here.
The windows are original, as well as… the drafts! Joking aside, all the walls are original. I only put the wooden floor on the concrete floor and added the volumes separating the different areas. There are no doors. Each space, big or small, is private, cozy though. I really wanted each part to be original, that’s why the walls bear “signs” of the past working life, a memory of human lives. I decided to separate the different areas using volumes and not walls because I wanted the loft to remain a single space.
I wanted it to be a hall containing different time periods, reflecting the philosophy of Aldo Rossi. The single space also recalls a church, which is clearly visible in the plan as well as in the living space. So the nave leads to the apse, the altar and the transept. These sharp volumes evoke the charm of the thermal baths of Vals by Peter Zumthor or of the Seven heavenly palaces by Anselm Kiefer. Within these protecting volumes, I find the most private space of my home, which surprises me every day.
In the bathroom there’s an embracing coziness where the perspectives and the shapes follow one another. They change according to the external lights: sun, snow, and rain which can deeply influence our emotional experience. The light is the root of our life. We need to guide it. We need to express its essence according to the emotion we want to raise, otherwise we wouldn’t be architects but builders. I think that a good architect or artist should be able to make emotions explode without screaming them out.
There are no doors. Each space, big or small, is private, cozy though. I really wanted each part to be original, that’s why the walls bear “signs” of the past working life, a memory of human lives…
photos by Stefania Giorgi