A smart and extensive architectural renovation
mA+A Minervino Architetto e Associati
Carlo Minervino, Paolo Radeschi, Emanuele Guerrieri
The Crocetta neighbourhood located to the south of Turin’s historic centre is named after the nearby church of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie, known as the church of the “Crocetta” because for many years it was run by the order of Trinitarian fathers whose symbol was a small cross.
With its elegant Liberty, eclectic and neo-Gothic style buildings, the neighbourhood is one of the most prestigious residential quarters of the Piedmontese capital, an urban area that reached the peak of its development in the period between the nineteenth century and the 1930s and since then has maintained its reputation as an upper-middle-class district. Since the 1950s the Crocetta neighbourhood has been home to the Polytechnic University of Turin.
This stylistically heterogeneous area is home to a renovated residential building located in Via Carle. The remodelling project, which included reorganising the internal distribution of the 21 apartments, was awarded to the architecture firm mA+A. The project covered the condominium’s ground-floor entrance and the distribution of the apartments from the first to the fourth floor, all with balconies. The apartments with fourth-floor entrances are duplexes connected to the attic floor.
The monolithic facade
The aim of the façade design was to give the grey-coloured plinth section a monolithic look that would distinguish it from the weathering steel effect of the residential floors. The visual impact of the façades is alleviated by string courses and splays in the ceramic cladding in proximity to the windows, a solution that improves the interior lighting and allows for a broader exterior view. The homogeneous surface composition also creates iridescent effects that vary according to the angle of incidence of sunlight throughout the day.
Another of the aims of the project was to improve energy efficiency by adopting the most innovative solutions offered by contemporary technology and architecture.
Latest-generation insulation with the very best thermal and energy characteristics available was installed underneath the ceramic cladding and on the façade facing onto the inner courtyard.
To complete the envelope, the roof was made from zinc-titanium sheet with plant fibre panel thermal and acoustic insulation and thermal break aluminium windows with Stratophone type double glazing.
Last but not least
The façades were clad with large Acidic series porcelain panels from Ceramica Fondovalle, chosen in the colour Corten.
Combining the experience of tradition with the innovation of large-size panels (160×320 cm and 120×240 cm), the Acidic collection is an original and modern metal-effect ceramic surface. It has proved to be highly versatile and is suitable for use in conjunction with the widest range of materials, for design solutions that fit in with the themes of contemporary architecture.
The choice of porcelain ensured the maximum functionality in terms of the durability and resistance typical of the material. It also integrated perfectly in terms of both aesthetics and function with the latest-generation insulating cladding that guarantees the highest levels of thermal and energy performance.
Ceramica Fondovalle, Acidic
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA; ULA, UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant