Yin & Yang

Yin & Yang

History and modernity

Arch. Massimo Rodighiero
Arch. Riccardo Odolini
Ph. Andrea Martiradonna

The historical memory of the place fits the contemporary environments in this work of residential recovery turned to improve living comfort, safeguarding the confidentiality of the inhabitants and the scenic view of the city of Brescia.
New double-height windows create an envelope which leaves intact the image of the ancient portico, recovering intermediate spaces in the dialogue between interior and exterior.
The project participates in the traveling exhibition “Architects Mantua – projects and works 2012 ‘on display at Palazzo Te in Mantua.”

Italian Yin Yang

In a very suggestive scenic area of the city of Brescia stands a seventeenth-century’s building to which Massimo Rodighiero of the homonymous Studio Rodighiero Associati, in partnership with Arch. Riccardo Odolini, gave new view through a work of renovation and reinterpretation. The structure, integrated in the nineteenth’s century with a porch once crossed by a road, has undergone, while maintaining the existing context , a major intervention of transformation to become a familiar environment of character and originality.
The metamorphosis, resulting from a previous renovation, of a large empty space, which was the porch, a living area on two levels, is the starting point of the project that, while introducing the contemporary style of comfortable and cozy environments, aims to maintain untouched the historical memory of the place.

Double-height windows create a sort of shell that leaves intact the image of the outside porches, framing the inside like a shrine. A suspended ceiling, detached from the interior walls, is divided to form a stair, thus creating an open two-level space that gives one the sensation of a single large room.
In the oldest part of the house are located kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms, from whose large windows the eye can lie on the exceptional panorama outside. Every room tells a story in itself through a clever mixture of different materials and different colors.

The dialogue of opposites

Getting near the house, the first approach leads us naturally to the image of an almost abandoned place, only to gradually discover the specific language of this architectural work, that finally shows the simple and refined elegance of a beautiful and functional home.
“The dialogue of opposites” of this project is the language of contrasts, those typical of our time, which constantly sees the couteracting coexistence of public and private, container and contents, interior and exterior, heaviness and lightness, wild and hi-tech, history and progress.

This coexistence here shows itself mature, calm, ready to look to the future, since contrasts are sharp but never shrill, always elegant. Oppositions become spontaneous, authentic, never trivial; they are the result of a thought that translates in few signs the complexity of the interpretation of the area and its history.

Interior and exterior: glass and stone in the space-time stratification

Stone and brick surfaces alternate with large windows thus creating an optimal balance between the need for summer cooling and natural ventilation, guaranteed by the mass of the building, and the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
The historical image is also maintained by creating an inner shell that, like a second skin, allows not to act on the outer surface of the building.

The interior sets back from the exterior walls in order to make visible the historic architecture, but also to create outdoor living spaces, such as the entrance with porch and gallery walkway. Hybrid places in between inside and outside interpret one of the most popular concepts in contemporary architecture: the breakdown of interior and exterior spaces.

Even the entrance of the house, which expresses the modernity of the intervention, has the cartoon-like image of an open macro door and plays with the confusion of filled and void materia. The matt glasses with characterize the window, have the double function to guarantee its structural sealing without fixtures, and to maintain peoples’ privacy. In fact, being placed perpendicular to the transparent facade, they hide the interior from the street, while allowing more and more clear views on domestic intimacy as you walk towards the entrance. All visual from and towards the house are designed and contribute to the interior spaces’ furnishings, as well as to the character of the exterior.


In the oldest part of the house, were located rather more intimate environments (lunch, bedrooms and bathrooms), which are treated as a realities of their own. The floor, which is set uniformly in the living room, in the dining room is set according to the shape of the domes. Each room has different materials, shapes, and colors: the girls’ bathroom is all white, made of translucent backlit Corian; the external bathroom is made of steel, the son’s bathroom is made of absolute black granite, with lights that trace the constellation of his astrological sign.

The interior volume and the loft

In the large living room is a loft, like a UFO on the road from another world, that is shattered when it meets the wall, creating a ladder.
The color uniformity of the surface of the ground floor and 1st floor and the reversed bow window of the double-height window that frames the arches from the inside, are the elements that help to read the space as a single large porch which the attic landed inside.

It is this way returned at the same time the history of the architectural work and the intervention of volumetric renovation is visually highly lightened.

The furniture

Very modern elements alternate, and in some cases mix, with antique pieces, such as the library in the lounge, that sees the superposition of Chinese doors to a particularly modern product, in order to satisfy the oriental taste of the owner. Also coming from China is a prehistoric trunk that becomes a sculpture in the living area, while custom-designed carpets from Nepal furnish the environment by perfectly maching its shades. Carefully selected items from the best design production of our century, like the couch Ritwelt ‘30s or the lamps designed by Castiglioni, are mached with a tastefully understated approach.