Like a block of stone
Marco Luciano - Studio di Progettazione Goodfor
Standing in front of the new building in Viale Francesco Ferrucci 36, the words of Italo Calvino come to mind: «Turin is a city which entices a writer towards vigour, linearity, style. It encourages logic, and through logic it opens the way towards madness.»
The stratification of the urban fabric, the heterogeneity of the buildings and their functions, and the different scales and volumes speak ultimately of this madness, which in reality is shared by many of our cities. They reflect a loss of bearings in which an urban project at the scale of an individual building might give rise to a kind of free-for-all. The team from Goodfor, the architecture, research and sustainable development firm tasked with designing the new residential complex, went against this trend, uniting and completing a block adjacent to Piazza Adriano.
The architects commented: «Within the incoherence of an urban landscape that due to a sequence of historical events has become extremely discontinuous and architecturally diverse, the project declares its modernity through rigorous geometries and clearly defined volumes.»
Along with an understated elegance that steers clear of certain forms of rapidly-obsolete grandiloquence and here and there echoes the finest tradition of Italian rationalism, its qualities extend beyond the figurative consistency and coherence of the urban interface. The project goes well beyond mere «vedutism», instead addressing such urgent and topical issues and shared values as housing quality, comfort and energy efficiency. Architectural composition acquires depth in the fourth dimension, which along with volumes explores the details of construction techniques and solutions capable of ensuring the high energy performance and bioclimatic comfort of interior spaces. It extends as far as the definition of a consistent plant system (integrated home automation, radiant air conditioning, consumption accounting, etc.) that made class A energy certification possible.
Within this framework of values, a key role in terms of aesthetics and performance is played by the technological solution adopted for the opaque envelope, consisting of an external cladding made from Laminam ceramic panels mounted on a specially-designed thermal insulation system. Tiles from the «I Naturali Pietre — Pietra di Savoia Grigia» collection were chosen for this function. Of all Laminam surfaces, this is the one that offers the most realistic interpretation of the natural material, resulting in fluid and surprisingly textural surfaces.
This choice reflects the project’s focus on nature and the environment, expressed by the generous windows designed to optimise natural lighting of the interiors and the large terraces overlooking the hills.
«On windy days in spring Turin sometimes appears to be made of glass, whereas in winter it takes on an earthy grey tone, like a block of solid stone,» wrote Italian historian and sociologist Marco Revelli.
Laminam, I Naturali
Pietra di Savoia Grigia
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): average 0,1
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): da A a C
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): average 50
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant