Industrial loft / Francesco Meneghello
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Text description provided by the architects. Industrial archeology and art-design objects mingle freely in this London interior, illuminated by the special natural light that only riverside towns have. This raw and brutal space, sculpted with lights and shadows, inspired the visionary creativity of Francesco Meneghello and favored his attitude to multiply suggestions through minimal details, composing a narrative that is never unique but free and multifaceted. . The imposing essence of the space encouraged his desire to experiment with new connections between architecture and objects, combining rigorous choices and poetic concessions to decoration.
The living room is an open space, lit by the large windows typical of industrial archaeology. The choice of arranging the furniture along an ideal central axis naturally organizes the space and creates an orderly visual continuity. The huge modular sofa (leather) in the seventies style embraces the lounge area. With its curved line, it introduces the feeling of a more intimate dimension where objects defined by a powerful artistic expressiveness are perfectly at home, such as the provocative presence of a wall rug inspired by Gustave Courbet’s famous painting, L’ Origin of the world.
A transparent dividing element suggests the direct relationship between the living area and the sleeping area, removing any visual and conceptual barriers. The large marble table represents a rational element of classic balance, rigorously proportioned to the space. It is designed to dialogue with certain iconic pieces of design that are still able to fascinate, such as the surrealist-inspired wall lamp. More than essential and almost invisible, the kitchen is a perfect expression of geometric abstraction; no functional element is visible, forcing the perception of emptiness. The presence of an old olive tree underlines the sanctity of nature.
The seat around the tree has the symbolic energy of a mystical space for meditation and contemplation, an energy made even stronger by the “mirror no mirror” distorting the context. The staircase, made up of detached elements, is a gratuitous homage to Carlo Scarpa’s visionary design of the Olivetti showroom in Venice. The staircase leads to a mezzanine which expresses the intimate and silent atmosphere of a museum space. With two armchairs and a painting, nothing else is required to enter a soft and suspended dimension of dialogue with art, suggesting an ideal connection between spaces of sociality and personal domestic spaces.
The first private space is a large dressing room inspired by the atmosphere of Berlin’s avant-garde boutiques. Displayed as if in a shop window, the outfit steals the show in the staging, surrounded by retro-inspired display cases and futuristic furniture. The master bedroom has monastic essentiality. It is a shelter and an alcove. With its essential and geometric design inspired by Japanese aesthetics, the bed is the heart of the space. A work, made by informal Italian artist Alberto Burri in the second post-war period, oversees the most intimate area of the house.
In a curious creative game based on contrasts, the rational image of the bed acts as a counterpoint to the marble washbasin which introduces into the adjoining bathroom a material and hyper-expressive object, extracted “per levare” from a block of Pierre. Once again, Francesco Meneghello’s interior project recounts a domestic vision inspired by a museum concept through the search for asymmetries, through the balance between full and empty and the contrast between reflections and transparencies.