Italian architecture firm archiNOW! took a geometric turn in their design for the RGR House here in Rimini, Italy – a medium-sized city on the Adriatic Sea. Commissioned to redesign and renovate an existing structure, the architects transformed the old building with an unusual maze-inspired exterior of solid white walls and cut-outs coinciding on the facade. Measuring almost 5,400 sq. ft., this house puts as much focus on beauty as on practicality – two equal essentials in any good architectural design. Here’s a sneak peek, inside and out.
According to the architects, “The project seeks a complexity of volumes through the composition of simple elements; the synthetic result is the overlapping of two items from the antithetical nature that interact in strict harmony.”
“The materials emphasized the concept of volumes in contrast,” explain the architects. The basement level is clad in Trani stone (a fine-grain limestone) to highlight the home’s physical and material connection to the land, while the upper levels are treated with contemporary white plaster, which really showcases the home’s bold shape and complex character.
The cut-outs in the facade become broad balconies which bring a bit of the outdoors to every level of this contemporary house.
A sheltered wood deck lining the ground floor connects indoors and out, providing a transition from garden to house, and a warm welcome home.
Euro chic interiors are cool, clean and contemporary. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors slide open onto the balconies.
But that’s not it for the sliding doors. Interior Japanese sliding doors and walls allow a more-traditional layout of separated rooms to take on a more modern, open-concept layout. Simply slide the walls to open one room to the others for an open social space when you want it, privacy when you need it.
The kitchen is a classic combination of black and white, a bold contrast that whets our appetite for timeless style. Minimalist cabinets offer simple storage space for food, small appliances and other kitchen essentials – out of sight, out of mind. The bar offers additional counter space and a great spot for casual meals. When the dividing wall is opened, this island also serves to visually separate the kitchen area form the living space.
The living area, though contemporary in style, comes back to its earthy roots with a stone feature wall and honey-colored wood floors. A floor-to-ceiling double glass door invites natural light to spill into the living area and into the open kitchen and adjoining rooms. This living and lounging area opens onto a funky home office via a large sliding wall.
This office space is small but sweet, featuring a bold alphabet wallpaper and a wall-to-wall desk area. Uncluttered and interesting, this work space is sure to inspire some of your best work.
But there’s more to this house than meets the eye. Eco friendly features and passive technologies were carefully considered and incorporated into the design, doing its part to green the environment while also cutting operating costs. A heating and cooling system is connected to an absorption system through solar panels. A photovoltaic system on the roof supplies energy to the home. Automated motorized sun screens – complete with a light sensor – let the sun in or block it out when needed, keeping interiors comfortable.
An exterior stairway takes you up to the next level, and new heights of architectural awareness! As you climb this vertical maze of walls, windows and balconies, you really appreciate the way this home comes together.
Look down and you’ll catch a glimpse of the garden, manicured in a modern grid of neat little plantings arranged in an artful way.
By night, light spills out through the large windows onto illuminated balconies, highlighting the labyrinth-like silhouette of the home.
Here are some floor plans illustrating the layout of interiors:
This is what the house looked like before archiNOW! got its hands on it. Predictable, forgettable, unremarkable – even bordering on boring. Now, this house has become somewhat of a local landmark thanks to its unusual, artful exterior and cool, modern interiors that deliver fashion as well as function.
photo credit: Daniele Domenicali