From Peru to piano casa

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From Peru to piano casa
Transformation of a house and warehouse, Torino 2014

When Ricardo Rios, an estimated Peruvian blacksmith immigrated to Turin, is finally able to buy a house, he does not do it in a residential district, in a comfortable and easily re-sellable apartment.He prefers to buy a shed with an adjoining small residential sleeve, in an internal alley of an area made of other buildings, industrial, night-clubs, places for various cults. He does it to live and work in the same place, but not only for that. He understood that it is not the bourgeois apartment to ensure the best ratio between cost and quality, between spaces and functions: so he begins with the realization of his radical homebuilt house extension.Ricardo knows that he can do most of the work himself, bartering its blacksmith abilities with the few jobs that cannot do personally, such as plants or waterproofing. He knows he can use the piano-casa (an Italian law that allows to extend one’s house in spite of local rules), but he needs help to get through the intricate bureaucracy.

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Thanks to his experience working with architects, he has ambitions and uncommon aesthetic preferences. He asks MARC to assist him in the aspects which he does not master: it does not need exactly a designer, but also a prompter for what it does not know, a mediator when in need to discuss and to imagine his home with his wife. He understands that a small budget intended for the architect can make things easier. He keeps us at his side and negotiate his choices with us, but only if we do not get things too complicated. He invents some details, often brilliant, like the radiator/parapet that overlooks the kitchen, or the “homemade” thermal-break windows. When we get to the final touches, when we propose to paint the bricks of the cellar without using plaster, he shouts, laughing, in a tone between the excited and perplexed: “si, como en una favela!”.

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Designers: Subhash Mukerjee, Michele Bonino
Collaborators: Lucia Baima, Francesco Strocchio
Structural design: Stefano Oletto
Partner for engineering: FRED s.r.l.
Photos: Beppe Giardino