Duomo 37 - Tivoli (RM)

Underneath the arches

The architecture practice Nooow Architects is housed amongst exposed brick arches in the historic centre of Tivoli
Benedetto Marzullo
Daniele Panci, Karolina Studzinska (nooow architects)
De Masi / Manieri & Ceccarelli
Year of completion

This historic renovation project in the old centre of Tivoli, a town just outside Rome, involves the premises of the compact but visually striking offices of architects Daniele Panci and Karolina Studzinska from the practice Nooow Architects, who themselves oversaw the renovation and interior design work. The open-plan workspace stands out for its high ceilings and above all the presence of structural arches, where the original brickwork has been uncovered and left intentionally exposed. The wood beams have likewise been restored and left in view. This approach was adopted throughout the entire premises and influenced the subsequent design choices, particularly the interior finishings. The space itself is divided into three zones separated by the exposed brick arches. The first is the working area complete with desks, while a second area houses the meeting room and is slightly raised to create a more secluded, intimate space that makes full use of the height of the rooms. These two areas are separated by a white masonry box structure, a service block that also acts as a hallway and connecting area and houses a bathroom and storeroom as well as a recessed kitchen opening onto the office. The kitchen in particular is set into a frame-like structure with a white plastered finish that mimics the other walls and emphasises the completely black furniture and the stone-effect tiles on the end wall. «Our intention was to create a modern environment that at the same time would respect the original spirit of the space and the historical context in which it is located, combining past with present and revisiting the old raw look with a more contemporary aesthetic,» explain the architects. To achieve the desired effect, they chose to use Ceppo di Grè stone-look ceramic tiles (Stile Libero series from Ornamenta) for all the floors and some of the walls, including the kitchen, part of the bathroom walls and the four steps separating the meeting room from the kitchen block. Near the staircase, a glazed trapdoor reveals a section of the original stone walls. In the bathroom, the same material is used in conjunction with vertical strips in the colour Terra, perhaps a reference to the colour palette of the structural bricks of the arches. This contrasts effectively with the grey of the Ceppo di Grè to create an unusual graphic effect that is further enhanced by the black taps. The masonry shelf supporting the round countertop washbasin is likewise clad with stone-effect tiles. To further accentuate the ancient/modern contrasts and illuminate the room enclosed in the services box, a glazed skylight has been opened up in the ceiling to reveal the historic beams.

Ornamenta, Stile Libero
porcelain stoneware
60x60 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
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