Villa Clea, a project by Matteo Corbellini, emerges as a solitary material monolith amidst a theatrical milieu of Milanese buildings.
Replacing an old car workshop's remnants, this structure melds clay and cement into a singular entity, serving as both a structural backbone and a source of thermal and acoustic insulation. The architect's hands have intimately sculpted the walls, ceiling, and floor, applying diverse lime glazes that bring rawness and continuity to the space. These manual interventions – the marks of formwork, spatula strokes, and imperfect cuts – introduce tactile imperfections that lend the architecture a human scale and reality.
This heterogeneous consistency within the homogeneity amplifies sensory perception, allowing the architecture to retain its totality while keeping its individual components discernible. Every surface narrates its creation through its flaws. A traditional wood-burning fireplace forms a primal connection to the hearth's ancestral essence. Natural light filters through skylights and sliding windows, bathing the interior in ever-changing hues and nuances.
Villa Clea's spatial design combines living and exhibiting fluidly within three independent lofts, which can merge into a single sensory journey. The solid reality of concrete juxtaposes with the ethereal flow of luminous curtains and mirrored doors. A garden, rising from the remains of an old industrial oven, now nurtures a Mediterranean micro-forest, while the flat roof transforms into a wild meadow.
Inside, the space's essential nature is matched by the sensorial clarity of the interior design by Allina (Alessandra Pelizzari Corbellini), resembling an atmospheric installation that adapts to diverse inhabitation styles. Each element aligns with the building's essence, utilizing materials like raw aluminum for furniture and raw cotton for mattresses and sofas, complementing the foundational clay and lime mix.
Villa Clea stands as a contemporary habitat, accommodating the complex facets of modern life: a home, workplace, exhibition area, and social hub. Its spatial fluidity mirrors the versatility of current lifestyles while reconnecting us with a timeless existential journey.