©Marco Introini

Italy 2011Casalgrande Old House

Emilia Romagna

We converted a private brick house in Reggio nell’Emilia’s grassland to a gallery run by Casalgrande Padana, a tile manufacturer. In its adjacent rotary, we had designed a monument called “Ceramic Cloud” using large-sized tiles.
The design theme for both the Old House and Ceramic House is lightness, thinness and strength of the tile. In 20th century, tile was used as a finishing material for concrete, a kind of cosmetics in architecture. However, with the development of technology in recent years, they now produce denser, stronger, and larger tiles. Our objective was to create a light, “particled” interior space using those larger tiles.

The tiles are used mainly for treads of the stairs, bookshelves, tables and reflective plates to disseminate light. In each purpose, we pursued delicate details to emphasize the thinness and lightness of the tile. Adding “lightness” of the tile onto the “weightiness” of the old brick house would be an interesting way to conserve historical architecture. This came from my notion that nature itself could be gradational, and I began to think how we could make things gradational. If people’s activities also can be described gradational, so would be their houses, in various parameters.

Team Javier Villar Ruiz, Ryuya Umezawa* Construction Casalgrande Padana Cooperation Ejiri Structural Engineers Photography ©︎ Marco Introini