5 mm between me and you

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5 mm between me and you
Transformation of Fred Buscaglione’s former attic, Torino 2013

Fred Buscaglione was an Italian singer whose success reached its apex in the 50s. He had a quite transgressive style for that period. He used to drive a big Ford Thunderbird and used to live in a penthouse on the 8th floor of the newest and tallest building in the area. A very small penthouse with a terrace and an exceptional view to the city and the Alps.
The same view (the building is still the tallest in the neighbourhood) and the very small size are the issues that the new owner asked us to challenge.
To be able to live and work at home the client needed additional floor-surface, which she hoped to obtain from the small attic above. But this was extremely small and low, due to the shape of the existing roof.
MARC proposes to demolish most of the slab that separates the apartment from the attic, leaving only a portion above the center of the apartment, like a mezzanine.

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The two double-height spaces on the sides of the mezzanine are treated in different ways: toward the terrace the double-height is maintained, and the façade wall is replaced with a generous window. On the other side, the double-height is exploited by “nesting” a new bathroom under the pitch of the roof. But there the double-height is not really double, it is necessary to find a way to minimise the thickness of the structural parts of the bathroom, so as to maximize the spaces.
The final solution is a suspended volume made entirely of an iron sheet (thickness 5 mm): the walls, the floors, the steps, the sides of the bath-tub are all structural. Nothing is thicker than half-a-centimetre, allowing for an unexpected spaciousness.

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Designers: Subhash Mukerjee, Michele Bonino
Collaborators: Alberto Lessan, Cristina Cordeschi, Tommaso Rocca, Francesco Strocchio
Structural engineering: Riccardo Sampietro
Client: private
Photos: Beppe Giardino