Two eighteenth-century buildings of ancient stones and barrel vaults, two distinct but adjacent houses are connected together in a single space with a dizzying staircase to mark the border.
- 300 sqm
director of the project Flavio Albanese —
founder & partner
Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of ASA studio albanese. A self-taught man whose training did not follow the more usual academic route, he began to show interest in shapes and design as a very young boy, and he gradually added many strings to his bow in all sectors of architecture and design. 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. In 1971 he inaugurated his first design studio in Vicenza. In 1987 his brother Franco joined the business, founding 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, 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 (born in Vicenza in 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); and the redevelopment of the “Cava di Mursia” on Pantelleria (2010). He also supervised the design of the Mestre bypass (2004), the “Rocco Forte Verdura Resort” in Sciacca, in Sicily (2005), the expansion of Pantelleria Airport (2006) and the new Rinascente in Palermo (2007). 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
This minimal but significant restoration work, where the space is the main character on stage, takes place in the heart of Palermo, just behind the cathedral.
On the inside, the four levels are linked by a continuous staircase that cuts the plan in two.
Above it, large glass roofing naturally lights up the whole space.
The light hits the white walls like a waterfall and “paints” them, leading anyone who climbs the stairs to a terrace that looks out over Palermo like a hanging garden.
The high ceilings, the rooms in sequence, the garden, and the green terrace are the distinctive elements of the restoration work.
The interiors are decorated with minimal furniture from second-hand markets and old doctor’s clinics.