Designing a smart space, both elegant and intuitive was the intent in So & So Studio’s recently completed home for a blind woman in Thiene, Italy. When their client was ready for what she called “home” for fifty-five years to change, the designers elected to implement a natural process of adjustment and wayfinding for the vision impaired woman to navigate her new space.
For a blind homeowner, the process of learning a new environment is vital to not only the function of the space but to the daily life within that home. So from day one, the overarching theme of the project grew out of a simple glyphic language. Realized through thorough material selections of stone and porcelain, So & So Studio aimed to find the perfect balance of textures to guide the end user of the home between program elements using an embedded map system.
The first step in the design was to orient the spaces around a singular corridor spine, minimizing any potential maze effect and ensure efficient movement throughout the house. At the three main points of the central path, the entrances are located, giving access from the garage, the front door and the back patio. The central hallway connects the two main spaces, the bedroom and kitchen, through the entire house, with nodes along the way for the guest room, bathroom and living room.
Within this house, they worked directly with the client to map out her daily habits and typical path. This ensured an intuitive organization of the home and helped to ease the transition of daily activities between her two houses; old and new. Each daily use or activity became a node in So & So Studio’s house map. They then needed to incorporate within the design a language to communicate their design decisions to the client for physical use. This process began first in the way they explained their ideas to the client. The designers continued to use the digital world to work and design, but utilized the physical world in model form as the tool for communicating any changes to the layout.
By eliminating door thresholds and unnecessary material change, So & So Studio created a spatial continuity throughout the house to strengthen the clarity of program nodes within the map and ease the client’s learning curve, moving into her new home. The end result expressed in each node for the client: a glyphic alphabet of simple rules in the floor of the house. In using a textured stone tile within the floor pattern, program nodes are accentuated and a system of way-finding has been activated.
For all other sited users of the home, the designers declare the program nodes not only through glyphics but also using nodes of directional light. Bound by their appreciation of pure form and concrete, So & So Studio came together with Berlin-based furniture designers: Kardamov Studio to create a set of lights specifically for the Casa MAC project. The HERA and HERO down lights are cast in finish grade concrete, reinforced with light weight steel and feature PLA fastening components. Engineered within laboratory conditions, using advanced software and 3D printing instruments combined with the handcraft of fine-furniture expertise, an ancient construction technique has been transformed into a Twenty-First-Century art form.
The pendant lamps have a sculptural, yet quiet presence. Their directional light and shadow features bring a quiet dialogue to the spaces within Casa MAC.
LALE, the final piece of the house came in the form of a pendant light designed to fly above the dining room table; a reference to the concrete home and entrance canopy the client leaves behind: designed and built by her late, great husband. Stainless steel structural elements carry the weightless sensation of finish grade concrete, elegantly spliced with an oiled oak end cap. Its light freely flows through a naked glass tube, throwing warm light up into its barreled concrete reflector. A glass-finish surface cascades a diffuse glow over the thin edges of the pendant’s walls. Every piece of the LALE pendant is handcrafted in Berlin, Germany.
„Born from heroic materials and a topical use of technology, are forms which prove themselves timeless.”
-So & So Studio
Designing a smart space, both elegant and intuitive was the intent in So & So Studio’s recently completed home for a blind woman in Thiene, Italy. When their client was ready for what she called “home” for fifty-five years to change, the designers elected to implement a natural process of adjustment and wayfinding for the vision impaired woman to navigate her new space. For a blind homeowner, the process of learning a new environment is vital to not only the...
- Year 2018
- Work started in 2016
- Work finished in 2018
- Main structure Reinforced concrete
- Client Private
- Status Completed works
- Type Single-family residence / Interior Design / Lighting Design