House with Alcove

Casatibuonsante architects presents House with Alcove, a mini loft on the top floor of a traditional 20th century multi-storey building with balcony access, in Milan.

Located in the historic Navigli workers’ district, the apartment is a stone’s throw from the Darsena, the ancient port of the city: a forgotten area that has recently been the focus of a redevelopment plan.

House with Alcove is part of broader research carried out by the office, dedicated to studying the effects of the sharing economy on the delineation of the domestic landscape, which is increasingly shaped by platforms such as Airbnb, and influenced by a growing homogenization of taste.

A unique and complex fixed furnishing element crowns the 35-square-foot surface of the project, originally divided into a modest kitchen and a multi-purpose hybrid space that served as a bedroom, a living room and a dining room.

New hierarchies and varying levels of intimacy articulate the space, which has been tailor-made for a young screenwriter and cinema journalist. The fixed module divides the environment into separate spaces, hosting the kitchen and a storage room, and defining the living area, from which a small corridor leads to the bathroom. The small bedroom is located within the module itself. On the sides, wardrobes and storage spaces in flamed oak surround the mattress, while a sliding curtain separates the sleeping area from the corridor, creating a private space, a contemporary alcove evocative of medieval canopy beds.

Furniture becomes an architectural element, defining the hierarchies of the space, characterized by a surface of red cementiles. Assuming the role of kitchen, closet, bedroom, bookcase and wardrobe, the module introduced by the architects leaves the living area free to be reconfigured, as required.

House with Alcove approaches domestic landscape through the representation of people’s behavior, within a process that considers the characteristics of each person, their habits and their aspirations. House and identity fuse through an exceptional level of intimacy that the sharing economy tends, by nature, to dissolve.

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