Architect Renato Arrigo and the 'is space luxury?' dilemma

25 square meters of ingenious solutions for comfort and functionality

by Malcolm Clark
13

Architect Renato Arrigo from Messina in Italy has taken up the gauntlet thrown down to concentrate a house for a family of 4 in just 25 square meters.

Restructuring a flat in the centre of Taormina is never easy. Building constraints, the superintendency of architectural heritage, boundary distances, neighbourhood plans, drive-over spaces, are all factors affecting free expression. Making a 25 square metre apartment comfortable for 4 people risks becoming a fruitless exercise of style. Ensuring all comforts without affecting the convenience offered by household electronic items is a very arduous task. Giving the sense of 'emptiness' and trying to approach a reductionistic line is probably impossible.”

The name of the house, starting from the doorbell, is 'Space is Luxury', due to its anomalous space feature: just 25 square meters providing a comfortable space for its four occupants without having to resize any convenience.

A small house does not have to be big to be beautiful - says the architect Arrigo - A small house does not have to forego functions to be big. 'Space is (NOT ) luxury' is the ironic sentence written below a suspended bed which can be raised to the ceiling to grant the necessary space to daytime activities. A door frame extended out onto the terrace can become the ideal extension of a long table when it is opened and then be hidden. A long folding table can become a big window frame and then de-materialise when closed”.

Architect Arrigo concludes: “A handful of square meters in the old town centre do not allow me to add any other words, except to ask myself the same old question: Is space luxury?”

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    Space is Luxury 255

    Space is Luxury

    Taormina / Italy / 2011