giussaniarch, renovation of an apartment in Viareggio

giussaniarch, renovation of an apartment in Viareggio


The entrance opens onto a space flooded with light coming from the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is visible just a few tens of metres away, framed by large openings. The apartment on the top floor of a condominium from the 1960s in Viareggio, to be precise in the Quartiere Duca d’Aosta district, in the vicinity of the Parco di Ponente, is the work of the Milanese giussaniarch practice in collaboration with Antonella Quaglia.

The design strategy is clear and at the same time subtle, skilfully handled through carefully selected colours and a precise use of materials, but above all thanks to a series of effective choices with regard to the relationship between spaces. Commencing with its height above the ground, the apartment evokes the condition and character of a ship’s interior. This is achieved not so much through literal references as thanks to a refined play of hints and allusions to the succession of dilatations and concentrations typical of the spaces aboard a ship. The synthesis is immediate: two potent and targeted interventions of structural furnishing face one another in the space reserved for the living area, with opposite and complementary purposes.

The dining area viewed from the entrance. (ph. Luca Rotondo)

The first is the bookcase-wing faced with wooden panelling already visible from the entrance, which frames the landscape in a square casement with a single shutter (freed of its original division) and in a large opening with a sliding glass door that gives access to the spacious balcony. And here another design choice becomes evident, regarding the floors. Precious blue majolica tiles decorated by hand and designed by Gio Ponti in 1962 for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento cover the surfaces of the living room and the terrace. The three-dimensional pattern has been taken up by the designers and reinterpreted on an enlarged scale on the panels of the balustrade: in this way the colours of the sea and the sky enter the living area, creating a suspended atmosphere and fostering a refined relationship of ambiguity between inside and outside.

The kitchen faced with teak veneer, like the bookcase and all the wooden structures, was made by the joiner’s F.lli Mazzolini of Morbegno, Sondrio. Top and back of Carrara marble, wall cabinets painted with satin enamel, high table with top of black laminate and brass details. On the ceiling, Fresnel lamps by Joe Colombo for Oluce. (ph. Luca Rotondo)

From here the eyes are drawn back towards the entrance, and in this reverse angle the second intervention of structural fittings emerges with clarity: a complex box – almost a mechanism – that unites entrance, access to the laundry, the master suite and the kitchen, underlined by its lower level and again lined with wood. Marble, horizontal and vertical planes coated with white or black lacquer, doors veneered with teak and borders and backs made of perforated brass plate give each designed object a sober but spectacular setting, making it look as if it had always been in that position, generating visual trajectories that converge on the high table of the kitchen. A series of hidden geometries make the three-dimensionality of the living area resound delicately. A last and almost secret panel leads into the second sleeping area, consisting of two large bedrooms and a bathroom. All with floors of teak boards with rubber joints, like on the deck of a real ship.

The master bedroom with a teak parquet floor; on the bedside table, Bilia Mini lamp designed by Gio Ponti for FontanaArte.

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