Industrial Pied-à-Terre in Italy
The architects at R3Architetti were given a unique challenge when they started work on what would become the 3 Vaults apartment. Not only were they tasked with creating a vacation home for a woman who wanted to use it during occasional visits to see family in Turin, then rent it on Airbnb the rest of the year, but they also needed to actually find an apartment to renovate and build most of the interior from scratch. After settling on a three-room unit in an old building near the River Dora, they stripped down the space, utilizing recovered pipes, industrial light fixtures, and naked concrete walls to create an "indoor landscape" that would be durable despite the limited budget while appealing to a range of travelers. By splitting the low wall between two vaults, they shifted the apartment's orientation, creating a diagonal line reinforced with sharp edges and custom woodwork. "In Italian, three vaults has a double meaning, three times and three vaults," says Alexandru Popescu. "It was a small space, so we broke a big wall to open up the three rooms." Dwell spoke with Popescu and fellow architect Gian Nicola Ricci about how they infused the 645-square-foot space with a sparse sense of Italian industrialism.