Two 18th-century buildings of ancient stone with barrel vaults, two distinct but adjacent houses are connected together in a single space with a steep staircase to demarcating the boundary. A restoration and transformation project, in which light is the main protagonist of the scene, located in the heart of Palermo, just behind the Cathedral and looking onto a series of open spaces.
- 300 sqm
director of the project Flavio Albanese —
founder & partner
Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of ASA studio albanese. He is a self-educated designer, by combining his passion for contemporary art with the practical experience of an artisan-architect. Having come into contact with Carlo Scarpa, he learns from him to avoid an “a priori” approach to design, adapting on a case-by-case basis to the occasions, themes and contexts. He has held courses at the École Polytechinique Fédérale in Lausanne and at the Art Institute in Chicago (1980), at Yale University (1983), at the University of Architecture in Delft (2005), at the University of Florida (2006), at the Fundacion Proa de Buenos Aires (2008) and frequently at the most important Italian universities. He has also held two workshops at the international summer school of the Architecture School in Venice in 2009 and 2010. He was a member of the Confindustria Vicenza committee from 1998 to 2001, the Domus Academy Scientific Committee (2004-2005) and the MIart Committee of Honour (2009 and 2010), director of the Officina del Porto di Palermo (2006-2008), vice president of the Andrea Palladio Architecture Firms International Centre (2011-2015) and president of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza (2010-2016). From 2007 to 2010 he was asked to head Domus, the prestigious international architecture, design and contemporary art magazine. Active since 1971, in 1987 he founds with his brother Franco ASA studio albanese. The studio's projects were published by the most most important architecture and design magazines: the Neores project was selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture (2003), and ASA studio albanese took part in Venice's Architecture Biennial in 2004 and 2006. Flavio is an avid reader and bibliophile (his library, which is open to the rest of the firm, contains more than 15.000 volumes) and he is a connoisseur and collector of contemporary art.
partner, CEO & executive director
Franco Albanese (Vicenza, 1958) has worked in the world of architecture and design since 1976. He graduated from the Architecture School in Venice in 1986 and the year after he founded ASA studio albanese in Vicenza with his brother Flavio. Since then he has been the firm's CEO and Technical Manager, and this role has led him to playing his part in the creation, development and execution of the most important projects. As designer and operations manager he oversaw: the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Padua (1997); “Neores”, the production site and headquarters of Sinv Spa in Schio, Vicenza, (selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2003); the project for the Town Hall of the Municipality of Grumolo delle Abbadesse, Vicenza (1999); “Morimondo 17”, the industrial reconversion of the Sinv spa premises in Milan (2000); the headquarters of Margraf in Chiampo, in the province of Vicenza (2006). He also supervised the “Rocco Forte Verdura Resort” in Sciacca, in Sicily (2005), the expansion of Pantelleria Airport (2006), the new Rinascente in Palermo (2007), the reconversion project of Lindower 22 in Berlin (2011), the Hybrid Tower project in Mestre-Venice (2012), the Fope headquarter extension project in Vicenza (2016). In recent years, he has increasingly concentrated on reconverting urban industrial areas, which has become a key theme of ASA studio albanese's philosophy. In recent years, he has increasingly concentrated on reconverting urban industrial areas, which has become a key theme of ASA studio albanese's philosophy.team Onofrio Storniolo
Onofrio joined ASA studio albanese in 2005 and specialises in 3D wood models. He works in close contact with architects particularly in the project concept phase, and his models play a decisive role in verifying solutions. Onofrio has always loved the sea and sailing. He goes back to his city of Palermo as often as he can to return to the primary elements (water, sun, wind) and look after his boat.
- Images credits
- Sandro Scalia
Inside, the four levels are connected by a staircase that winds seamlessly and linearly, breaking them up and stitching them together at the same time.
At the top of the stairs, a large new skylight draws in light as far as the ground floor, piercing through all the spaces and connecting them visually.
The light hits the white walls like a waterfall and “paints” them, leading anyone who climbs the stairs onto terraces on different levels that look out across the city like a hanging garden.
The high ceilings, the sequence of rooms, the garden, the skylight and the terraces are all distinctive elements of this radical restoration and transformation work.