When an old monastery located around the city of Como, Italy, was being remodeled and converted into a residential complex, two adjacent units were connected and designed by JM Architecture to form this apartment. The shape of the original units is clearly enhanced by the different pitched ceiling direction as well as by their different heights. The main idea was to keep the shell intact, maintaining the entire length of the unit open and invading the space minimally. The result is the insertion of an enclosed box on one side containing a small bedroom and two bathrooms, which leaves to an open space the main functions of the home.
The main entry is a very small foyer which creates a sense of compression before entering the main gallery, where the living spaces, kitchen, dining and living, are separated from the master bedroom by a lacquered block. In the drop between the two different ceilings, a video projector is inserted to play images on the wall above the kitchen. To allow the maximum projection surface, the upper kitchen cabinets are hidden behind the wall and slide down with a motorized system.
The other characteristic element in the main space is the staircase, which is an assembled steel beam with open treads made by a cantilever steel plate covered in wood. Canadian maple has been carefully selected for the hardwood floors, and since maple wood isn’t stable with radiant floor heating, the floor planks were custom built with 2.5mm Canadian maple top and back layers on a particle board. The 20cm width of the floor planks modulate the position of all the elements, from the walls to the millwork. The floor planks also runs up the master suite wall, which is lit by an upper light cove.
All perimeter walls and ceilings hide an additional layer of thermal insulation and the bathrooms are equipped with radiant panels in the ceiling. The walls adjacent to other units have been covered with a led layer to give additional acoustical insulation. Glacier white Corian is used for counter tops and sinks in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms, for the bath-tub, showers and parts of the bathroom walls. The house is fully automated and is managed by a server located in the studio on the second level. Everything has been custom designed, including the entire kitchen, bathroom sinks, beds, dining table, desks and bath-tub.