Borgo San Frediano, in the Oltrarno district of Florence, Pierattelli Architetture has given new life to a 240-square-metre apartment on the first floor of a building
of the 15th century, with a restyling that combines the charm of the past with the modern needs of living. The intervention tiptoed into a historical context of great artistic value, characterized by large and bright spaces, frescoes, coffered ceilings and Tuscan terracotta floors.
While keeping the identity of the place intact, the studio has made additions to the design scale that have redefined the spatial layout as if they were architectural elements. Like for example the curved panel with a brass base and structure in ribbed oak which has created a previously non-existent entrance. Or again, the large Canaletto walnut headboards in the master bedroom and guest room that separate the sleeping area from the wardrobe spaces, leaving the view open on the frescoed ceilings. “Our design approach starts from the observation of the elements that we are faced with and attempts to integrate new functions without distorting the context, rather trying to enhance its beauty” says Massimo Pieratelli. The need to create both the dining area and the kitchen in the large hall adjoining the living room led to hiding the wall units and equipment of the latter within a pre-existing and secluded environment, leaving its most beautiful part exposed: two custom-designed monoliths in wood and brass, with a walnut travertine top that recalls the warm and Mediterranean tones of the earth.
Custom made creations play a fundamental role in this modus operandi. “The place was full of peculiarities. It was necessary to underline them and optimize the spaces customize almost everything, even the setting up of the rooms service”. Custom-made works, made with warm and natural materials – travertines and woods of the local tradition combined with metals such as brass – have been combined with designer pieces, selected for enter into harmony with pre-existing or designed shapes, colors and materials. The furnishings of the living area take up the curved line of the entrance panel and are embraced by a large circular carpet designed by the studio: a point of connection between the various colors exhibited, from blue, to orange, to light tones of beige. The stools in the kitchen instead they recall by color one of the artistic photographs on the wall by the French Hervé Saint Hélier. “Another fundamental aspect for us is the lighting. It doesn’t have to be uniform but can offer scenarios different. This is why we take great care of the effect of light and shadow that it supports the different everyday situations of life”.