Villa Clea stands as a single material monolith surrounded by a curtain of Milanese buildings, which act as a sort of theatrical backdrop around it. The building replaces the remains of an abandoned car workshop.
Villa Clea is composed of a single mixture of clay and cement, serving as the structure, thermal and acoustic insulation, and cladding. The walls, ceiling, and floor are manually treated by the architect himself, using various lime glazes. Through a raw wholeness, the space becomes absolute in its continuity, and at the same time remains tactile by the imperfect repetition of the gestures that refine the material in its physical reality: the sign of a formwork, a spatula, an imperfect cut. This heterogeneity within the homogeneity allows to amplify the perception and gives a human and real dimension to the architecture, which thus remains in its totality while leaving its parts observable. The surfaces tell their workmanship through their imperfections. A wood-burning fireplace reconnects to the ancestral essence of the hearth. Natural lighting from the sliding windows and specific skylights immerse the spaces in varying nuances and hues at every moment of the day.
The spatial fluidity of living and exhibiting is realized through three independent lofts that can be unified to form a singular sensory promenade. The tangible architectural material of concrete is contrasted with the flow of luminous curtains and the incorporation of fully mirrored doors. A garden, born from the demolition of an old industrial oven, now hosts a Mediterranean micro-forest, and the flat roof embraces the rusticity of a wild meadow.
The spatial essentiality of Villa Clea is complemented by an equally sensorial clarity in the interior setting, imagined by Allina (Alessandra Pelizzari Corbellini) as an atmospheric installation that adapts to different ways of inhabiting the spaces. Each element is designed to fit in with the space with tactile-sensory discretion. The materials are carefully selected to complement the lime and clay mixture that forms the essence of the house, such as the raw aluminium for all furnitures and the raw cotton for mattresses and sofas.
Villa Clea presents itself as a contemporary living system capable of accommodating the multifaceted aspects of contemporary life: home, work, exhibition space, meeting place. The fluidity of spaces reflects the versatility of life in this historical moment, while also reconnecting us to a timeless existential experience.