An important renovation and restoration project led to the ancient splendor of an Art Nouveau dwelling, on the second floor of a building, an expression of the historical memory of Corato, a town in the Apulia region north of Bari.
The house in fact, located in the historic center of the city, was built between the 800 and the '900, years in which Italy lived its cultural revolution, trying to educate the masses through art and taste of beauty, and in which there was a tendency to give free rein to craftsmanship, counterposing them to mass production.
In the recovery of this true pearl of the Apulian Art Noveau architecture, in which baroque and oriental influences converge, the architect Esther tattoli, which was commissioned to renovate and redevelop the building, sought to create a balanced mix between ancient and modern.
The architect, in fact, has tried, where possible, to preserve all the original and characterizing elements of the home, enhancing them and making them functional and compatible with the new requirements for energy performance.
The house, the former home of three noblewomen coratine, missionary and very religious, presented a fascinating mixture of sacred and profane: next to pavilion vaults decorated with paintings depicting acanthus leaves and classical figures, we find putti in gold leaf and ex- vote. The house had a real internal chapel, in which an altar dominated, dominated by vaults painted with floral decorations and patches of local landscapes.
Symbols of prosperity and good omen, denoting a certain social status, alongside testimonies of a deep religious cult.
The pre-existing floors consisted of tiles or grits of the size of 20 × 20 cm, decorated with different patterns in each room.
Esther Tattoli wanted to enhance all these extremely connotative elements, through a precise work of recovery and philological restoration, which integrates with the design of new insertions characterized by a contemporary language, with essential lines and pure geometries, where traditional techniques and advanced technologies converge. ; the one and the other elements, the new and the antique, blend in the gold and silver glows of the decorated walls and the new lime putty coatings, and are recalled in the ocher colors of the ancient grains and in the luminous reflections of the new flooring in natural stone.
"The design intervention was aimed at reconciling the functional needs of a modern home with the genius loci of a place where the signs of its history felt strongly present, in the religiousness of the chapel, in the Arabian reminiscences of the Liberty decorations, in the lightness of the wall paintings, in the decorative richness of the polychrome floors of the grains: a place of contaminations and contradictions, local traditions and reminiscences of overseas, sacred and profane, "explains Esther Tattoli.
The recovery intervention is the result of an in-depth research by the architect Tattoli, oriented towards the use of materials linked to the local building tradition, such as lime putty and natural stone, eco-sustainable, transpiring and compatible with the materials present in the home, in order to reconstitute a profound unity of the architectural organism. The aim of the project was in fact to continue to be a memory of a close relationship with the Apulian territory and its history, even if reinterpreting it in a contemporary and minimal key.
As Esther Tattoli states, "a home must be a representation of the personality of those who live it, of its aspirations, of its way of living, intimacy and acceptance. An important phase of the project is the initial introspective investigation of your client, understanding how he wants to feel in his space and how he wants to show himself. The gold color is repeated among the ancient decorations of the house, flickers between the paintings of the vaults and dominates the space of the altar, merges with the intense yellow of the grains and marks the geometries of the liberty decorations, returns in the contemporary lamps of the bedroom bed, and in the pigments of lime putty that covers all the surfaces of the guest bathroom and that, even more brilliant, illuminates some walls of the personal bathroom of the owners; the golden color expresses the sophisticated style of the owners, the elegance of receptions, the attention to detail ".
Natural light plays a primary role in this project, merging with the artificial one. In fact, in the central rooms, the ancient skylights have been preserved, which integrate perfectly with LED lighting given by a suspended circular track system.
The niches in the house have been recovered and transformed into wall bookcases, sober, linear, where every space has been rationalized and reused. The modern style of interior design, made of essential, minimal and elegant pieces, delicately contrasts the decorative opulence of historical elements, enhancing it. Some insertions of family furniture also give warmth to the rooms and trace the ranks of a new story.
The intervention made by Esther Tattoli, saw not only the renovation of the living unit, but also the energy efficiency of the same. The entire project has followed the rules of an approach oriented towards environmental and social sustainability: from the use of natural materials and products by local artisans, to the recovery of the old fixtures, enriched with double glazing, a barrier to sunlight, weather and water.
An underfloor heating system has been realized, made of heating steel sheets, particularly efficient in environments with very high ceilings and thick stone and tuff walls.
In addition, solar collectors were installed on the roof, capable of producing domestic hot water, and placed flow reducers in service areas.