Design and construction management for new headquarters and offices in a liberty-stile villa in the center of Turin
The Villa was built in 1902. It presented an architectural and decorative style with neoclassical and neo-modernist elements that represented a nascent taste for Liberty style, which spread over Turin at the beginning of the twentieth century. Some valuable elements of this period are for example a horseshoe-shaped staircase with marble treads and wrought iron parapet with curvilinear decorative motifs finished in a mahogany wood ashlar, or the highly decorative entrance portico. In July 2013, the client decided to commission a conservative restoration project, including the execution of works to change of use from community-accommodation to office and management activities. The Client offers specific services and targeted solutions to accompany the development of financial institutions, trade associations, professionals and public administration agencies. Our project modified the layout of the interior spaces, allowing to concentrate the service areas and the distribution of the horizontal routes inwards, close to the stairs. This allowed us to free the most luminous and suggestive views and to redistribute office environments in a flexible way. On the basement, we created a videoconference room with a break, technical rooms and archives; on the ground we designed meeting room and videoconferences, offices, secretary and reception and accessory spaces; on the first and second floor, we put executive offices, a meeting room, a big open-space office and some toilet blocks; on the third floor (attic) there are five rooms for office use, a toilet block. Through the demolition of some internal walls we managed to design office environments of different sizes: we start from 25 square meters on the ground floor to reach 40 square meters on the upper floors, up to 80 square meters of open space, which in historical buildings of this type and size is really characteristic. The internal vaults have been consolidated and rebuilt, restoring the stuccoes and the frames. The marbles of the internal staircase have been polished and restored to their original brightness. Where possible we have also conserved and restored the original solid wood floors with squared and herringbone geometric designs. The intent was to create an environment with warm and neutral tones for walls and flooring in accordance with the elegance of the building. We opted for Armstrong metal panels for ceilings with micro-perforated rectangular slats, to increase sound absorption, laid both horizontally and suspended islands, to accentuate in some environments the dialogue between antiquity and modernity. Even the choice of the lighting fixtures, both suspended and fixed to the wall, arose from the need to identify new and contemporary shapes that could be integrated with elegance in the overall design, respectful of the general historical context. In this construction site the human component has been decisive. The design choices required a careful and highly specialized installation and a continuous presence on the part of the designers during the works management to define the details and manage the physiological unforeseen of a restructuring. This result shows that the artisanal work dimension is still able to produce constructive excellence.
“Strong service and interior design for an historical villa”
Francesco Brayda [Proteosrl]