Thursday, December 9, 2010

Single Family House In Milan | Achille Castiglioni

Project: Achille Castiglioni 1969

A small house constructed in 1924 for bank employees. These houses, each with a small garden, were built outside the old city walls at the edge of the countryside. Most of them disappeared during the post-war reconstruction boom.
The house was enlarged using a 4x10 m area, formerly occupied by a driveway and private green space which gave continuity to the row of buildings defining the street.
The essential features of the house (tiled roof, plaster walls, stone windowsills, wooden shutters, ground floor window grills and stone stairs) were maintained and re-proposed in the new extension.
Inside the house, a staircase connects the foyer to the mezzanine and the other three floors (basement, first floor and attic).
A door with pressed glass panels on the mezzanine opens onto a hall which to the left leads to the sleeping area and the dressing room with a built-in wardrobe with doors made from old window shutters.
From the entrance, one also enters the dining room through a shallow arch in the bearing wall. Around the table are curved aluminium chairs designed by Peter Coray in 1938, and the table is lit by graceful large hanging bulbs.
On the wall is a long stone shelf made from an old washboard, near the windows two niches closed by doors become wall cupboards, and on the other side of the room is a wooden boat once used for eel fishing in the Polesine area.
Going up three stairs in artificial stone, one enters the living-room. A U-shaped staircase leading to the basement divides the room into two parts.
In the part facing the garden there is a painted, modular metal and glass cabinet, mass-produced for hospitals, containing a collection of curious objects and old toys.
In the basement, a large fireplace, a bookcase, red leather armchairs and a large reflector suspended from an iron tube.
The TV is in a niche under the stairs. In the game-room with a vaulted ceiling, a ping-pong table coexists with the first Candy washing machine, a refrigerator and a series of paintings. On the first floor, the extension allowed adding a room, a wardrobe and a bathroom.
The attic, lit by skylights, was also redone with a large living-dining-room that connects the other rooms (bedroom, study, kitchen and bathroom) and the terrace facing the garden.
Achille Castiglioni: “It is an extremely simple environment with everything one needs for living; it is the sum of our history, our objects and our memories.”.....more

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