A 1950s portico becomes a mini apartment with roof garden

Francesca Perani’s renovation creates a flexible and playful urban refuge of 25 square metres, combining chromatic accents, geometric cuts and Persian references. 

The mini-apartment for a couple designed by Francesca Perani is located in the town of Albino, near Bergamo, Italy. An urban shelter of 25 square metres derived from the renovation of an open portico from the 1950s, once used as a warehouse. Today this small space, adjacent to a private garden, provides tranquillity and privacy in the heart of the city, serving as a private residence or a studio.

Urban Cabin
Francesca Perani, Urban Cabin. Plan.

The external volume remained unaltered and the large openings of the former building were maintained. In the new project, the roof hosts a roof garden, while the facade, defined by earth tones, has been completed with the addition of a second skin: a white, perforated metal grid occupies the south side of the structure, folding freely and serving as a sunshade. It is a playful and functional partitioning system which protects the house and creates a small triangular garden, at the same time recalling the ancient Persian arches and sun shadings.

Urban Cabin
Francesca Perani, Urban Cabin. Photo Francesca Perani

Inside, Francesca Perani created a customized, flexible space: thus the bench doubles as a storage unit and bed, and wardrobes reveal hidden desks; the openings of the portico become slanted niches from which to converse. 

Urban Cabin
Francesca Perani, Urban Cabin. Interiors. Photo Francesca Perani

Interiors are characterised by the use of poor materials, diagonal lines and colour contrasts. Oriented Stand Board (OSB) cladding wraps around the living area and complements the pattern of marble-effect moulded stoneware on the kitchen countertop. The glossy blue resin in the bathroom is a reference to Persian indigo and creates a sharp contrast with the rest of the home. 

Urban Cabin
Albino, Bergamo, Italy
Private apartment
Francesca Perani - FPEnterprise
Ilenia Perlotti (Interior designer), Ilaria Odoli (intern)
Roberto Belotti, Luca Noris (Progterm)
Gherardi Giuseppe
Metal shadings:
Valoti Giovanni
Diego Armellini
Due Effe Illuminazione
Site area:
60 sqm
Area :
25 sqm

Latest on Architecture

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram