Evolutionary changes by Ruggero Lenci

Enrico Mandolesi

These four home-studios for artists realised in 1960 in Via Mariano Fortuny in Rome look out through large windows west toward the Tiber river, while to the east they are anchored to the tufa stone face of Villa Strohl Fern. The use of “folded” shed roofs is an original solution not only on the exterior for its balanced insertion with the landscape, but also inside for the singular connotation of the living spaces. The building contains a total of four residential units: two duplexes and two simplexes, with the north and central volumes hosting the duplexes, while the south building contains one duplex on the entry floor and another on the upper floor. The ground floor is accessed via external stairs that manage the important level change. The living rooms in the duplexes were positioned on the upper floor, such that the entrance passes through the night-time spaces before rising up to the living spaces. In the first unit accessed from the left of the vestibule is an inclined wall. After passing it, we arrive in the bedroom and bathroom, surmounted by a space-glazed bridge on the two long sides. This volume, centrally positioned with respect to the other two constructions, does not project on the west side, like the end walls, but serves as a functional volumetric connection. The next unit is accessed from the second door in the vestibule and opens onto a long corridor that runs parallel to the retaining wall where it meets the spiral stair leading up to the living room, closet and bedroom with ensuite bathroom. The last two units are the simplexes accessed from the third and the fourth door. Over time a number of substantial changes were made to the volume to the north: the windows were substituted without respecting the original subdivision and design. In the volume to the south, the four original openings have been substituted by bow-windows that bring more light into the interiors. An elevator was also added to the building to the north.

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