Archive for the ‘Atomaa’ Category

Between Giallo Fantastico and an Ibanez – custom made cement tiles

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"All the more 'grey-dressed', more 'darker', more distinguished people (those people I detest) always talk about 'tradition', always have 'tradition' in their mouths and ignore, poor thing, that tradition has always been the exception (i.e. the masterpiece that makes the rule), has always been health, strength, life, i.e. colour, and has never worn grey trousers, grey jackets, grey coats, all the things that make grey faces, grey spirits, grey lives. The true tradition, the one I adore, the one of which the innovators are the custodians, has always been colourful and sanguine."

- Gio Ponti

The clients' wishes were clear: they wanted a lively, colourful home. No carpets, but a living floor that could characterise the new spaces. A wandering between references and solutions: milanesity, materiality, unusualness, revisitation and colour colour colour colour.
The floor we chose for this house embodies both the colourful soul of its inhabitants and the typical Milanese boldness.

A floor created in close collaboration with Mosaic Factory (a company specialising in the handcrafted production of cementine, grit and zellige) that pays homage to the Milanese design history of the last century, beginning with the choice of cementine, a typical covering of Milanese houses in the early 1900s - which in its design recalls the more refined version of grit of the 1930s - arriving at the Albinian invention of the silipol for the Milan subway.

The colours, on the other hand, are a tribute to Gio Ponti's iridescent vision, echoing the colours chosen by the designer/ceramist for his "Giallo Fantastico" floor, which covered the large surfaces of the futuristic Pirellone.

A floor that is never the same, because it is the result of an artisanal process in which the skilled hand of the cement maker draws Pollok-like spots of colour and the skill of the installers compose on a grand scale an abstract design in which to lose oneself.

Project: Link
Mosaic Factory: Link

Photo of the floor of the Pirelli Tower: Maria Novozhilova

Taking care of a precious heritage building in Mozzio

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In the heart of the Ossola Valley, in the small village of Mozzio, a new ATOMAA construction site has begun.

The clients, an enthusiastic couple, fond of the territory and traditional architecture, started this adventure, wanting to give new life to some abandoned houses in the village. Just as they lovingly and passionately recover objects from the past, ATOMAA recovers traditional Alpine construction techniques, bringing these dwellings back to life and maintaining their authentic rustic charm.

Stone walls, larch beams and poplar roofing form the shell of a new house, rich in objects and memories that tell the story of the valley's inhabitants, their traditions and their warmth.​

Stone House in Sinio

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In the beautiful landscape of the Langhe and Barolo, we are overseeing a new restoration project, 'Stone House in Sinio'. Now under construction, the building, which stands on the boundary of the village, faces the valley and its vineyards.
An ancient, stone architecture, forgotten for a few years, which will soon be ready to welcome a new story.

ATOMAA means People

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ATOMAA is more than its projects, it stands for PEOPLE. Over the past years, friends, colleagues, and clients have shaped our studio, turning it into a place of research, exchange, and somewhat a second home. At the core of everything, there's always the individual: the pulsating heart of every project and the wellspring of our creativity.

Upon Inhabiting – Urban Nook Apartment

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A turntable placed temporarily on the floor plays a song by Lucio Battisti, La Luce dell'Est, out of tune.

The tired blowing of the May wind shakes a corner of the east: and this is how a portion of the sun reflects the metallic disorder of the pantry. Pink is the backdrop for paper lights, prints and perfumes, it becomes inevitable to wonder what would have happened if Battisti and Miyazaki had met.

The water boils slowly, drawing freckles on steel faces. A knife acts as a metronome marking time on an olive cutting board. The handed down recipe requires coarse strips of bacon as long as they’re 1 centimeter thick.

A bottle of beautiful wine looks out the window, emotionally remembering France and Paris. The glasses accompany her staring at the explosion of wisteria that frames the windows of the street.

A door slams shut. Italian music is slowly being lost, replaced by alienating electronic music. Posters on the walls emerge from the margins of the pages of a huge squared notebook. Berlin, where clouds of steam complement the room's blue-gray sky. Two portholes allow you to look out hoping to land as soon as possible. The tailgate opens.

Now it is La Collina dei Ciliegi who limps to the room. Tiles designed by time are the branches on which an origami nest rests that leads to the highest point of the tree. An orange light cuts the space creating vertigo on the linen forced onto the mattress.

The dynamism of a cat with a thousand gears seems to transform the corridor into a futuristic treadmill.

Books, magazines and catalogs of any author and format act as a backdrop in an alternation of photographs and objects that have lost their original function.

The sun has now bid its daily farewell to the city's buildings. Caravaggesque light points underline the beauty of sincere imperfections. A whiny meow breaks the balance of thoughts and colors that clash loudly over the beauties of London, Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Porto, Taormina and then Naples, seeking respective primacy.

Then the doorbell. The instant din is softened by the wave of plants that challenge survival on a daily basis.

Sage green perfumes the entrance. Guests are greeted by a concrete milky way that spans the floors and ceiling.

A luminous parenthesis illuminates an artist's corner where bouts of anger free the mind. Mambo by Lucio Dalla makes the guests' bare feet slide across the starry sky of Rome. Half the moon is smiling outside, the other is hiding.

Project: Link

Text: Courtesy of the client

The home as a quarry

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When you buy a house you buy your future, but also a bit of its past. What are you going to do with that past?

There are so many good reasons not to throw away what you find on the fourth floor: it's simply already there and doesn't have to be transported. It should not be crammed and then disposed of in a landfill. And the new material that replaces it must be extracted (if not produced), packed, shipped, lifted, laid, treated.

They are all "good" reasons, but where is the "beautiful"?

In this house the gift is the Palladian floor in Carrara and red Levanto marble. And then there is the one of elegance, in black Portoro.

Just where new pipes and new services will have to pass. Or where the desire for new divisions and spatiality requires the presence of a new wall. If, for all these reasons, we need a new floor, why not use the old one to make the new one? Why not consider the house as the quarry for this new materiality, trying to transform within its walls, without letting anything out?

Helped by the hand of someone who knows the secrets of this matter, we can patiently crack. Then clean up and set aside.

Then decide together what the new form of this material will be.

With a small "stonecutter" the house that was previously quarried becomes a laboratory: small lines are obtained from the flakes of Carrara and Levanto. Their shape, with one side cut by the blade and the other broken, keeps the memory of its transformations.

With a common "hole saw" other flakes are transformed into the purest (Platonic) of shapes: the circle.

All this matter, which has never left the place where we found it, is ready for its new form and to participate in a new story.

Traces from the Alps

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When approaching the recovery of stone buildings present in the historic Alpine villages, bearing witness to the simplicity and authenticity of rural mountain life, our starting point, a point of the highest value, is the stratification of history.

The richness of layers that have slowly overlapped over time through an act of exfoliation are rediscovered.

Our research aims to add another layer to this long story but without erasing or overwriting this accumulated wealth.

In varied situations, in an almost surgical way and without too much planning, we naturally discover and appreciate the surprises that these architectures reserve for us.

Credits
Photographs: ATOMAA Archive

House in a Constant Transition in À Vivre Magazine

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"Small and inversely large"

44 square meters. Is it big? Not really. But in Milan... already quite big, perhaps. ATOMAA, a studio founded in 2018 by Andrea Del Pedro Pera, Cesare Galligani and Umberto Maj, is familiar with issues related to "micro-living". Between spatial strategy and decorative tricks, the three partners know how to reveal space.

It was necessary, for this project, to reverse the table! ATOMAA took the daring step of reversing a plan which, in the eyes of the three partners of the studio, proved to be irrelevant. “What's the point of keeping a distribution that doesn't offer good diffusion of natural light inside a home?”, they wonder. The objective was therefore to deport, to the back of the apartment, far from the openings, a "technical unit" comprising kitchen and bathroom in order to free up all the windows.

“The apartment is, after all, located on the first floor of a building and overlooks an interior courtyard; capturing the little sun available was our priority”, they say. For the clients, the challenge was quite different: to turn an unattractive place into an attractive rental accommodation. Beyond this imperative, carte blanche has been given. “We therefore thought of a place of life where each function can have a specific space, without making use of too rich a rhetoric.” Understand: be simple and open. To this objective, the architects add other requirements. Among them, “flexibility”. This is an imperative linked to what they call “micro-housing”. Nothing should interfere with the volume and everything should be adjustable.

“It's a constantly changing dwelling,” assure the architects. To this practical aspect are added aesthetic considerations.

The decoration should not clutter the space. All useful elements are reduced to their simplest expression. The handles, for example, disappear in favour of holes made in the sliding doors. Matter is also the only source of ornamentation. The grain of the wood, the alternation of different shades of oak, light and dark, or the ceramic tiles laid in a diamond pattern ensure the adornment of the place.

The partners of ATOMAA thus demonstrate, through this project, how much this aphorism of Álvaro Siza that they like to quote is indeed true: “Architects do not invent anything, they transform reality.”

ATOMAA decided to create an apartment made up of three different sequences, each with its dedicated window as a source of natural light. The whole thing can be divided and rearranged by pushing and pulling wooden panels or curtains.

For this apartment, no decoration, only materials: cupboards and removable partitions in birch plywood, painted bricks, oak parquet flooring alternating light and dark colours and, finally, 10 × 10cm ceramic tiles laid diamond in the kitchen but also in the bathroom.

A “technical block” has been created at the back of the apartment. It contains the bathroom, the kitchen, a hot water tank and the air conditioning system. It thus frees up space and, as a bonus, allows you to recompose the apartment by taking advantage of the three windows overlooking the courtyard of the building.

For more content:
Text: Jean-Philippe Hugron
Photos: 
Gregory Abbate
View the project: Link
View the publication: Link

ATOMAA presents at Platform Best Italian Future Living Design Selection

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On the 29th of November 2022, in the magnificent setting of the Belvedere Jannacci, located on the 31st floor of the Pirelli Skyscraper in Milan, the Best Italian Future Living Design Selection event took place, organised by PLATFORM architecture and design in collaboration with SIEMENS Home Appliances.

50 Italian architecture and interior design studios were selected to provide their personal vision of the contemporary design of new hybrid living spaces. During the event, all invited designers took turns on stage, recounting their vision in a short speech.

"Interior architecture in Italy has been throughout the past century one of the freest and happiest areas of experimentation and research in our design culture that is unparalleled in the rest of the western world for its uniqueness and richness."

"I have been saying for years that a parallel, almost private history of Italian architecture could be written just by using its interior designs, and it would be an exciting tale capable of recounting generations of young designers, excellent craftsmen, dedicated companies and courageous clients. It would be a true insight into the history of our country through its domestic interiors!"

- Luca Molinari

What the pages of this volume recount is a further evolutionary transition, because the sense of freedom and the desire to experiment remain, but the shape of the home and the habits of its inhabitants are changing. Homes are losing the functional and rigid scores of the century just gone by, while the need for flexibility and fluidity in the way we inhabit and experience domestic spaces is leading designers to work on forms of living in which mobility, the invisible presence of household appliances, technological intelligence and widespread sustainability give shape to environments that are more complex and elementary at the same time.

The close relationship between form and function is definitely transforming and leading to a simplification of domestic places that allows everyone to experience the home in a more personal and conscious way. The Italian projects that flow before our eyes have definitively eliminated the separation between kitchen and living, production and social life, privacy and work, because our lives, especially after this long pandemic, have stressed traditional homes so radically that new generation spaces were already beginning to emerge in the work of some of the more visionary architects and developers. Added to this is the urgent need for supports and places that have a clear sustainable and ecological character and are capable of affecting the way we manage energy and consumption responsibly.

We are at the first steps of an important metamorphosis of living and I am certain that Italian architecture will be able to offer important perspectives and projects, capable of helping an environmental and cultural transition that we all urgently need.

Credits & additional content
Video: Salt&Lemon
Event organisers: PLATFORM Architecture and Design
Event publication: Link
Buy the publication: Link
Event sponsor: SIEMENS Home Italia

Home for Readers in Best Italian Future Living Design Selection

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What the pages of this volume recount is a further evolutionary transition, because the sense of freedom and the desire to experiment remain, but the shape of the home and the habits of its inhabitants are changing.

Homes are losing the functional and rigid scores of the century just gone by, while the need for flexibility and fluidity in the way we in habit and experience domestic spaces is leading designers to work on forms of living in which mobility, the invisible presence of household appliances, technological intelligence and widespread sustainability give shape to environments that are more complex and elementary at the same time.

We are at the first steps of an important metamorphosos of living and I ma certain that Italian architecture will be able to offer important perspectives and projects, capable of helping an environmental and cultural transition that we all urgently need.

For more content:
View the project: Link
View the publication: Link

Text by: Luca Molinari