Apartment Renovation Project in Trento, Italy

A vivid artistic mood in an ascetic apartment designed by Michela and Paolo Baldessari – a surprising renovation in the historic centre in Trento (ITALY). 

Spatially speaking, it’s a very small step from the exterior of the decorative 18th-century building to the meticulous apartment located on its main floor, but a very large one in terms of design and aesthetics.

In fact, the idea that opposites can coexist is very much fostered by this Baldessari renovation. The rigorous panelling and flooring defy a series of exuberant artworks (from Baroque to Contemporary style), while the seriousness of the private spaces answers back to the radiance of the convivial areas. The designers invite their observers to play a game that involves continuously crossing between different environments within the same landscape.

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The Residence – Designed to House Many Works of Art

Owned by an art collector, the residence has been designed to house many works by contemporary artists (Hsiao Chin, Ugo Nespolo, Enrico Baj, Bruno Chersicla, Giulio Turcato and Milena Milani), as well as antique furniture, and more functional and essential furnishing objects.

Commencing with this requirement, Michela and Paolo Baldessari came up with an elegant and ironic “Franciscan” concept. The use of wood as the only — ascetic but aesthetically very important — material, became a leitmotiv for the project. “We used wide slats of brushed ash wood, treated with a dark brown “sackcloth” colour for the floor and panelling”, explains Michela Baldessari. “The visual impact of this material has created a minimal and almost meditative atmosphere. This, in our opinion, has emphasized — in a functional way but also with a certain irony — the characteristics of the artworks, furniture and even the warm conviviality of the owners themselves”.

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The division of the spaces was also made, therefore, according to a dual aesthetic criterion: a bright open space devoid of symmetry for the living and dining areas, juxtaposed with severe partitioning in the sleeping area and study.

The large, brightly-coloured living room has a wide opening on one side — almost a whole wall, which leads out onto a terrace of approximately 100 m2. On the opposite wall, a passageway leads to the kitchen.

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The entrance to the sleeping area, on the other hand, has a discrete and meditative feel, with a corridor whose panelling erases any “signs” by integrating cupboards, doors and even milled handles into the thickness of the door. This “Franciscan-like” corridor leads off to the bedrooms of the three children and the parents’ bedroom, with its spacious ensuite.

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Project Details

Design: Baldessari e Baldessari Architects and Designers

Location: Trento (ITALY)

Year: 2011

Project: Private apartment

Total surface area: 200 sqm + 100 sqm terrace

Furnishing: Poliform Strip chairs, Varenna steel kitchen, De Padova Regent’s sofas, Orizzonti beds, Kartell Four table, Driade Flo chairs, Flaminia ceramics, Rapsel Vola taps and fittings, and Viabizzuno lamps.

Photo credits – interiors and terrace: Matteo Piazza

Photo credits – exterior courtyard: Carlo Baroni



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By Danica Maričić

Interior Designer and Integrated Marketing Communications Pro, Loving Writing and Photography, Passionate about Life & Style, “True Blue” Mediterranean Girl, Curious Traveller & Designer