Domino by MARC: the architecture needed is … renovation

Radical restructuring aimed at obtaining the 'necessary immateriality'

by Malcolm Clark
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Domino, a big web-marketing agency has moved to a conventional four-floor building outside the centre of Turin. It published a competition amongst design offices, requesting an architecture capable of representing and strengthening the identity of its impalpable work, without resorting to predictable cyberpunk worlds or, worse still, high-tech ones. Michele Bonino and Subhash Mukerjee's studio MARC, won the assignment with this response: the architecture needed is … renovation.

The necessary immateriality is obtained literally, by removing material from all the thick layers that over the years had made, what was found to be a beautiful early 20th century building, unintelligible. Thus, not only the brick walls of the original structure, but also the reinforced concrete beams,  niches and ceilings, which had been hidden for years, were brought to light.

A radical restoration process is performed: the removal process even involves the demolition of the whole basement floor, replaced by an almost impalpable sheet of perforated metal (6 mm thick). In this way the separation between the entrance floor and the basement is cancelled. The latter is transformed from a dark and damp store to a large and luminous refreshment/lounge area. In the remainder of the building the changes are few and aim at rationalising the distribution, the flows and at guaranteeing the necessary flexibility for future expansions.

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    Domino 21

    Domino

    Turin / Italy / 2010