Basic Living

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photos by:
June 3, 2009
Originally published in Groundbreaking Ideas in Home Design

Live/work is a centuries-old practice turned overused architectural trend. By melding history and innovation, Turin’s Basic Village offers up a compelling reinvention of the concept.

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  Along with his wife, Stella, daughter, two sons, and nanny, Marco Boglione lives large in a split-level 8,600-square-foot open space that includes his entire business operation (factory, office and retail) and a rooftop garden.
    Along with his wife, Stella, daughter, two sons, and nanny, Marco Boglione lives large in a split-level 8,600-square-foot open space that includes his entire business operation (factory, office and retail) and a rooftop garden.
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  The second level is an open kitchen and dining room (described as the “lunch and dinner office” where colleagues can gather). "People think this setup is unusual, but there are millions of entrepreneurs who live right next to their warehouses," Boglione says. "The difference is that they make money and then build a hill with a fake villa on it."
    The second level is an open kitchen and dining room (described as the “lunch and dinner office” where colleagues can gather). "People think this setup is unusual, but there are millions of entrepreneurs who live right next to their warehouses," Boglione says. "The difference is that they make money and then build a hill with a fake villa on it."
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  Basic Village also includes a bank, a bar, a supermarket, and a salon.
    Basic Village also includes a bank, a bar, a supermarket, and a salon.
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  The lively interior of the bedroom is evocative of the spaghetti Westerns that Boglione loved as a child.
    The lively interior of the bedroom is evocative of the spaghetti Westerns that Boglione loved as a child.
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  “The shape of the house/bedroom [the background for wife Stella and daughter Maria, seen here] is the shape of American farm buildings," Boglione explains.
    “The shape of the house/bedroom [the background for wife Stella and daughter Maria, seen here] is the shape of American farm buildings," Boglione explains.
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  Why put the bathroom/office inside a greenhouse? "I just liked the shape," Boglione says. "But you should have seen the guy's reaction when I told him to deliver it to the second floor."
    Why put the bathroom/office inside a greenhouse? "I just liked the shape," Boglione says. "But you should have seen the guy's reaction when I told him to deliver it to the second floor."
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  Boglione's terrarium-like bathroom doubles as an office. Every morning he sits in his armchair with his laptop before venturing further afield.
    Boglione's terrarium-like bathroom doubles as an office. Every morning he sits in his armchair with his laptop before venturing further afield.
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  "The closet is like water towers on the rooftops in New York City," says Boglione. "Simple. Basic. A shape a child could draw."
    "The closet is like water towers on the rooftops in New York City," says Boglione. "Simple. Basic. A shape a child could draw."
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