Redevelop our architectural heritage as the primary source of inspiration for conservation and enhancement design operations, proposing artifacts that reveal both their own history and the creative hand of the architect who oversaw the intervention. This is the ambitious and stimulating goal that guided the Arch. Benedetta Gargiulo Morelli and Studio Nos Design in the recovery and expansion project for the villa in “Little London”. The area located between Via Flaminia and Via del Vignola, known as “Little London” thanks to a series of English-style villas on which it is composed, was born from the creative mind of Eng. Quadrio Pirani (1878-1970) who was responsible for making it in 1909. The project, for Piccola Londra Guest Mansion, was developed with a view to recovering the peculiarities that the building, like many other adjacent ones, had lost due to numerous remodelling.
Piccola Londra focuses attention on three points: the recomposition of the external unity of the elevations, the redefinition of the internal layout, the rearrangement and enhancement of the garden on the ground floor and the terrace on the second floor. The unity of the layout of the elevations and the integration with the context is recovered through the installation of a solar greenhouse, the winter garden that occupies the second floor and the roof, made with metal profiles and low-e glass: the structure is completely glazed, and shielded only from the inside. Access to the roof level is guaranteed by a steel staircase, incorporated within the garden itself.
The weaving of the metal profiles, mainly vertical, emphasizes the development in this direction of the building itself, maintaining the scansion dictated by its parts on a formal level, as well as the larger fenestration element placed in line with those present on the building on the floors below.
Although small, the horizontal profiles are instead arranged in correspondence with the frames and horizontals, guaranteeing continuity between the building and its neighbors. Even the use of a single color (ochre) both for the facades and for the fixtures and for the greenhouse follows the logic of creating a recognizable object with a unitary reading. The redefinition of the functional layout was obtained through the creation of functional blocks divided by floors: the basement floor as a dining area and kitchen, the ground floor as a living area, the first and second floors as a sleeping area, while the mezzanine floor, much less representative of the others dedicated to the laundry area. Finally, as regards the garden on the ground floor, it has been rethought by limiting the green areas to the edges, dedicating the area in front of the building to flowers and the rear area to bamboo, and allocating the remaining space to an area for staying: the garden it becomes one of the beating hearts of the building.