Living in colours
(cafelab architectural studio)
In a unique refurbishing project, the practice CAFElab Studio took a run-of-the-mill seventies apartment and converted it into a modern residence that makes rational use of space and stands out in particular for its stunning use of colour. The interior layout of the apartment, located on the Via Appia Antica in Rome, was completely reorganised. The daytime and night-time areas were divided up clearly with respect to the entrance. The kitchen and dining room were combined with the living room to create a large open space in which functional areas are defined by the layout of the furnishings. On one side there is the living area, centred around the fireplace, where the inhabitants can relax, socialise or watch TV seated on comfortable sofas; on the other side stands the large custom-designed open-plan kitchen with a functional peninsula facing onto the dining area to create a strongly convivial atmosphere. Next to the peninsula there is an original built-in wine-rack that stands out for its original formwork patterned surface. The existing fireplace was modernised by cladding the chimney with crystalline schist stone strips and by building a new lava stone hearth. On one side a solid wood bench was added to create a reading and relaxation corner illuminated by natural lighting. And last but not least, a functional and discreet home office corner is concealed behind a double folding door clad with the same timber as the oak parquet used throughout the apartment. With the sole exceptions of the bedroom/living area hallway and the master bedroom, the entire apartment features pocket doors that slide out of sight into wall cavities.
The corridor/hallway proved the ideal position for the bathrooms and laundry room.
Tiles from Ceramica Bardelli were chosen for both bathrooms. The daytime bathroom features a bath, a parquet floor to coordinate with the rest of the apartment, and wall tiles with subtle hand drawn decorations in white and various shades of green. By contrast, the colour scheme chosen for the night-time bathroom is based on red and grey. Tiles from the Minoo line created by Marcel Wanders serve as a backdrop to the eye-catching master shower and are also used on the floor. The porcelain tiles with a screen printed decoration come in a mix of 5 different designs ideal for patchwork technique installation. The red tiles highlight the large floor-level shower. Both bathrooms have external windows allowing for natural lighting and ventilation. The double entrance to the apartment made it possible to meet the client’s request for a laundry and a storeroom with independent access, although the storeroom lacks windows.
To conclude, the highly personal interiors of this apartment stand out for their meticulous colour design based on a red dominant that contrasts with more subdued grey and taupe tones and for their custom-designed furnishings and prestigious finishes.
Ceramica Bardelli, Soffio and Minoo
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant