The Micheli Residence by Simone Micheli

May 12, 2010

Italian architect Simone Micheli has completed a house for himself and his family in Florence, Italy.

Full description after the photos….


Description of the Micheli Residence by Simone Micheli:

The genesis of the plan of the House in Florence by Simone Micheli where he lives together with his wife Roberta and his son Cesar lies its foundations in the concept of modern luxury the Tuscan architect developed after a thorough and targeted thinking. During the “XXX Congreso Colombiano de Arquitectura” ( 30th Colombian Architecture Convention) which took place in Baranquilla (Colombia), Simone Micheli asserted: “ …the new luxury does not mean immobility or habit, but rather freedom and movement. It is a light and stirring thought, at any moment we are able to choose where and how to live and to reinvent the environment we live in. As for architecture the new luxury is related to the idea of regaining the beauties and the truth of our daily life together with our inner feelings. It is more connected with vacuums than with plenums, more with mind than with body. It does not mean opulence but rather transparency. I am talking about possible places where yours and our histories are echoing in the shape of visual, olfactory, tactile and auditory essence. I am telling you a story which has its roots in the past and in the tastes of exotic places but at the same time it is near and next future oriented. This future I am referring to is not made up of mimesis, emulation but rather it reprensents the truth and the oneness which envelope and protect us in order to live instead of just surviving in a restless and alienating reality. I am talking about non-places, natural habitats where the deepest and the most genuine personality of each person emerges and where anyone can establish a symbiotic relationship with himself and with the nature which created us. It has visual and inner harmony, it is the mirror of our mood which becomes calmer and stabler. Spirituality and beauty involve us in a aesthetic experience with all that is around us and with all we build with our body and mind. All this leads to the birth of a new place suitable for the inner growth but also for the development of our present or future family which is proud and grateful for having the chance of enjoying the cohesiveness the family is surrounded by. Daily relations and interactions as well will benefit from this cohesiveness by being enriched with passion and enthusiasm. I aim at making man the main focus of attention by stirring up his senses by means of shapes, images, colours, lights, materials and by creating a scenario hovering among trascendence and immanence, concreteness and abstraction, dream and reality. I am referring to spaces in the world, where man represents a fourth dimension worth studying and to be sensorially satisfied. Moreover, each element in these spaces bring man back to the origins of time when everything was pure and simple. In my opinion the word luxury could go beyond the limits of its meaning. Nowadays living in a luxurious sphere means being able to love and being loved in a genuine and absolute way, it means being surrounded by simplicity and let have our attention drawn by watching a grass blade waving in the wind. It means regaining the truth of life, living by appreciating the beauty of each day and by growing through the intangible physicity. It means reconsidering, dreaming, starting to love again without asking anything back, giving without having anything back. It means building without destroying, creating processes having a strong ethical sense and capable of becoming generators of healthy beauty. This is how I see luxury, which does not mean opulence and redundancy but rather the essentials, ethical gestures contents oriented, free spaces with scattered basic elements. I wish to create new stories connected with the world of the wonders having no bonds with tradition, I aim at symplifying and improve the life of man by eliminating all the unessential and undesired in the space he lives in”.

The house of Cesar, Roberta andSimone Micheli seems to embody the spirit of these words. It is a residence made up of 90% eco compatible materials and it is an authentic hyperrealist portrait of the “Ethical Luxury” which is one of the main focuses of his daily architectural searching. It is a dynamic, extremely fresh and vivid intervention taking place in an ancient 1800 setting which has converted these spaces laden with memories into a new environment capable of hosting meaninful fragments connected with a fast and unstoppable metropolitan life. In this way the full-height space which breaks the residential distribution rules is divided by a big brick arch, it features an unconventional distribution pattern on the ceiling and large openings revealing the opposite garden. It hosts the episodes of daily life in succession while a wedge, a low height diagonal volumetric element hosts services and the kitchen. Above this splinter which can be reached by walking the staircase we find a space for children to play marking the end of the whole visual description pattern. A spiderweb, a thread texture, somewhere between an Indian dreamcatcher and a microcosm appeared to Tomas Saraceno in a vision watches over the floor and creates an informal and valuable frame which embellishes the body of the services in an elegant and light way. The longitudinal axis which is triggered by the volumetric development of the living room meets a counterpoint, a minor transept in correspondance with the kitchen, a snow white sculpture marked exclusively by the partition of the doors which forms a niche in the added body resulting in dilating space in the dimension perpendicular to the windows. All along this transveral dilatation glass tables for lunch and work are located together with a screen coming down the ceiling which can visually separate the kitchen from the rest of the environment. This informal crystalline, naive, immaculate, antibourgeois, suspended between minimalism and radical chic is torn by ringing and vivid patches of colours. The bookcase, an acid green highlight, the mirror furniture and couches, which look as soft as pink clouds, as well as the back wall lend liveliness to the overall architecture. The perception of this space is highly unconventional, visionary where colour bubbles flotating in an spotless sea generate emotions connected with childish innocence, lightness and joy. The plaster of the original 1800 walls was stripped off and they were pickled thus forming a philological contrast with the the new smooth walls. The big size enamelled grès porcelain tiles floor are absolute white, they are as bright as the walls, the surreal ecoleather spherical poufs and the kitchen lacquering, the mirror furniture side surfaces and the bases of the stuffed furniture. The lighting featuring built in adjustable spotlights located in the false ceiling and the lamps with very narrow optics underline and enhance the lyric volumetric and cromatic episodes of this composition. The bedrooms and another bathroom are located in a transversal partition of the original volume. The bedrooms as well as the rest of the residence are characterized by extreme whiteness and by essential architectural gestures. The furniture is composed by few single totemic elements. The double bedroom is suspended between dream and reality. A big blue backlit round mirror flies over the bed like a flying saucer. The bed mattress is supported by a flying carpet which forms the leather upholstered structured headboard with its fold. The white lacquered closet covering the whole wall is embellished with essential chromium plated handles and it sets the perfect background for other dreamlike and reassuring environments. The big mirror resting against the wall sports a TV, while the ceramic vases which look as smooth as river stones are put on a low wooden elliptical shelf. On the one hand the bedroom of Roberta e Simone is harmonious and delicate, on the other hand the room of Cesar is joyful and sparkling. A big yellow snake which represents a deformation of the standard bed unit stretches along the two sides of the room and it becomes the support for toys, books and for the mattress. Soda bubbles come up from the bed and colour joyfully the wall opposite the space totally filled by the wall closet. Yellow lacquered round shaped desk and shelves together with the white ecoleather cylindrical pouff, the circular black carpets and the round backlit mirror complete this lively and childfriendly space which is ideal for playing, studying and living in a highly stimulating environment. The two bathrooms follow a simple and formally clean pattern and feature few essential elements having soft shapes and spotless finishing. Mario Praz asserted the following words in his work named Filosofia dell’arredamento: “In the same way many pieces of furniture are similar to mouldes of the human body, to hollow shapes capable of holding it, the whole environment represents the mould of the soul, the case without whom the soul would be like a snail without its shell”. Therefore this house originated from the mould of a lively, dynamic, metropolitan future oriented soul. It is a contemporary, intriguing, unpredictable mould which has the unmistakable signature of Architect Simone Micheli forged.

Visit Simone Micheli’s website – here.

Photography by Juergen Eheim