LOFT, GALLARATE, ITALY
INTERIOR RENOVATION OF LOFT IN GALLARATE, IT The loft is the top attic unit of a condominium building located in Gallarate (VA), Italy, near the International Airport of Milan. The design adds an extra loft-mezzanine floor taking advantage of every centimeter of the pitched roof height. The mezzanine is now the studio and occasionally a third bedroom. The bottom steps of the new wood stair become a built-in cabinet, storage area, and entertainment center. The project is, in particular, the attempt to redefine and speculate on the relationship between the kitchen, dining and living areas in a very common size apartment (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) for a family of four which includes two small children. These spaces and their configuration have the most influence on the life of apartment dwellers. For example, the Mediterranean culture, specifically the Italian culture, favors the closed kitchen which is, by far, the most used room of the dwelling. The family eats in the kitchen, and every meal is a ritual that defines the rhythm of life. Also, most important family discussions between spouses or parent and child usually take place behind the closed kitchen door, while the formal dining area interconnected with the living area is to entertain and dine with guests. In contrast, the Anglo-Saxon culture favors the kitchen open to the living and dining area. The family meal is more casual and less defined. Oftentimes kitchen, dining and living are one continuous room. In the Mau & Flo loft, the sliding table penetrates, with its stone and wood top, the operable partition, and together they deconstruct the room sequence allowing multiple configurations of the space. The relationship between kitchen, dining and living is completely redefined. The angled composition appears as if generated by the pitched roof which characterizes the entire unit. In plan, the inclined partition increases the depth of the living area. The materials throughout are oak wood, painted white steel, and local gray stone. The kitchen cabinets are white lacquered with orange Corian top matching the paint of the accent walls.