Atlas Villa Arnaldo Marelli

Via Privata Capitano Ugo Ricci, Cantù
Asnago Vender Architetti

Foto di Jacopo Valentini

The project involved the renovation of a pre-existing villa in period style on a hilltop open to the landscape. This was the earliest building designed by Asnago and Vender. Previous collaborations concerned competition projects that remained unbuilt, but this project began the important series of their completed works. There is a twofold interpretation of the project: on the one hand, the complete transformation of the original structure into a twentieth-century modernist work; on the other, through careful analysis of the existing, the cataloguing and conservation of some architectural elements that were reused in building the neighbouring Villa Carlotta Marelli. The new complex is a simple, geometrically defined volume. The large window is the characteristic feature that connects the entrance with the rear garden and in fact configures the villa’s new relationship with its natural setting in a spatial continuum between the interior of the architecture and the exterior of the landscape. The principle of great openness and transparency that characterises the relationship with the exterior also appears in the interiors, often separated by glass walls and connected to each other to create a seamless spatial setting. Originally the facade was characterised by a large dark purple portal, slightly protruding, which incorporated part of the ground floor and the upper floor, identifying with a chromatic contrast the light-coloured access system consisting of a few steps with an almost Palladian character. These elements have been lost due to subsequent alterations and modifications.