Before & After: A Streamlined Apartment in Italy Boasts Tons of Custom Furniture
When a young couple from Genova, Italy, inherited a 1,180-square-foot property from a grandparent, they decided to transform the old house into a bright, modern home that better connects with its woodland site.
They hired local firm Gosplan Architects to help them renovate the tired-looking space, which had a dark, cramped living room. The Gosplan team demolished the existing walls between the old kitchen, the entrance, and the living room to create a single, large living area that's sunnier, with improved ventilation.
The architects also built a massive, mirrored-surface sliding door that reflects sunlight arriving from the glazed entrance door. This creates the effect of a long, sunny corridor.
Before: The Corridor
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After: The Corridor
Before: Living Room
After: Living Room
The most challenging part for the team was constructing the door for the master bedroom. The main bedroom is situated at the end of the corridor, and during the first phase of construction, the team realized there was a large French window perpendicular to this corridor axis that drew in plenty of light. This was a feature they wanted to preserve and emphasize.
When the bedroom door is opened, the light streaming in through the bedroom window illuminates the corridor.
"Thanks to this expedient, we had the chance to reduce the cost of masonry works," says Lorenzo Trompetto, one of the firm’s founders. "Everything has been designed by our office as a tailored product, and many elements perform two functions," he adds.
"Furthermore, the door is very heavy, and it has to work perfectly because it will be used frequently," says Trompetto. "Technically, it was a big challenge, but we are really satisfied about the result."
The Gosplan team designed the guide rail and anchoring system for the door themselves. "This door gave us the chance to alter the perception of the house’s interior space," says Trompetto.
The functional areas were configured around a cross-shaped, built-in cabinet, which includes a big blue wardrobe that complements the proportions of the existing corridor. This built-in cabinetry stores and conceals all the technical parts of the house, as well as stairs that lead up to an attic.
The stairs near the fireplace, for instance, offer storage for large items, while the blue wardrobe also conceals access doors to the two secondary bedrooms. The cross-shaped cabinetry and wooden beam contains the second part of the stairs, and all the technical parts of the house.
The wooden sections are made of natural oak or Valchromat, a colored medium-density fiberboard. Like solid wood, Valchromat can be carved, so the architects could create interesting design details with it.
Architecture, lighting, cabinetry and interior design: Gosplan Architects
Builder: Joannis Katsiberis
Carpenter: Store & Home