A view of the stairwell from the ground level reveals the unique ceiling treatment and perforated black metal staircase.
Whitewashed surfaces with concrete, corten or weathered steel and artworks create an interior that’s akin to a gallery.
How do you balance family life with four children while running an atelier and a workshop? In Italian designer Antonella Gnetti’s case, it helps to have the home and office in the same place. Created by multidisciplinary architectural studio Alvisi Kirimoto, her Casa C is a three-storey home and design studio built on the architectural bones of a former farmhouse on a hill in the north of Rome. It has a built-up area of 6,092 sq ft with a 6,588 sq ft garden overlooking the Inviolatella Borghese Urban Park.
The house, designed primarily for moments of conviviality with family and friends, showcases Antonella and her partner’s art collection, as well as her bespoke furniture and decor atelier, Opficio Lauchli. The sporty couple wanted a tranquil place to retreat to while still maintaining a connection to the urban pulse. Tasked with translating the duality of this brief in the property’s interior and landscape, Alvisi Kirimoto made the most of Casa C’s location with open plans and floor-to-ceiling windows.
“We designed a dynamic, open space with a deep connection to the landscape and kept the volume of the old farmhouse, but completely renovated the interiors,” shares architect Junko Kirimoto, who co-founded the studio with fellow architect Massimo Alvisi in 2002.
Both the ground and the top floors are mostly conceived as large, open spaces – the former housing the living, dining and kitchen areas, as well as the owners’ artwork collection while the latter is dedicated to the master suite and an extensive study. The first storey houses bedrooms for the couple’s four children.
The architects designed a unique spatial experience for each floor by articulating the ceilings differently. The ground floor has a whitewashed ceiling with concrete flooring and corten steel walls, the first features a cheery yellow ceiling, and the top floor makes the most of its height by exposing the former farmhouse’s original wooden structure. Connecting all three levels is a cool black staircase. Made with expanded metal panels, it adds a serious rock and roll, industrial vibe while keeping the overall visual lightness of the interior with its perforated surfaces. As light filters in via the generously sized skylight, the staircase demonstrates dramatic shadow play.
The porch near the kitchen blurs the boundaries between the inside and out while the vegetable garden in front of it links the transition between the park, the urban landscape and the house. Alvisi Kirimoto custom-designed Casa C’s built-in furniture to complement the owners’ furniture and artwork collections, which add pops of colours to an otherwise neutral palette. Each of the children’s bedrooms has a study area outfitted with flexible furniture such as shelves and study desks fitted with castors that can be easily adjusted and modified as they grow.
The top floor is where life and work collide for Antonella and her partner. A strategically positioned powder room serves as a buffer between the master suite and the extensive living-study area, where Alvisi Kirimoto installed custom “floating” cabinets made with cork along the wall. These are connected with one another via a metal ribbon that forms a continuous work surface along the perimeter of the study, and folds into a magazine rack, benches, a chaise longue, and a flap top that conceals a kitchen with a sink and a stovetop.
All in all, Alvisi Kirimoto has managed to balance the warmth of Casa C’s old bones with its owners’ hip personalities, resulting in a playful, cleverly and impeccably articulated farmhouse-meets-urban-pulse concept.
The angles brought about by layering the balustrade, the yellow ceiling and the perforated metal staircase are decidedly eye-catching.
The communal top floor can be used as a living room or a one huge workspace.
The airy ground level showcases the owners’ art collections, which the furniture was curated to complement.
A metal ribbon runs along the perimeter of the top floor, defining work surfaces and various furniture.
Homeowner Antonella Gnetti.
Vibia Wireflow pendant lights and Cappellini Hi Pad dining chairs add visual excitement to the dining area.
A vegetable garden next to the outdoor dining area links the house and its greater environment.
This study corner’s custom shelves can be moved about on the pegboard wall.
Alvisi Kirimoto’s custom desks on wheels and bookcase.
The corridor leading to the master bedroom. The powder room (left) separates it from the living-study area.
photos SERENA ELLER VAINICHER