- Federico Nardelli
Surrounded by grand historic residences and large green spaces, the ‘Palazzo Arbà’ by the architects Federico Nardelli and Maurizio Maggiali is a new residential building that blends harmoniously into the existing urban context of Genoa, Italy.
Blending in with a Genoese Neighbourhood
Located in the elegant and upscale seaside neighbourhood of Albaro with sweeping views of the Ligurian Sea, the building site was formerly part of an adjacent convent run by the Good Shepherd Institute, which housed women in need. After being closed for many years, the building was acquired by real estate company Trident RE, ed with the intention of renovating the existing structure. Unfortunately, logistical challenges ultimately made renovation untenable and instead dictated a complete reconstruction project and subsequently an entirely new residential building. Despite its new build fabric, the style of Palazzo Arbà’s architecture refers to that of the typical 1960’s era residences in the surrounding area, yet it reinterprets this aesthetic in a contemporary fashion.
To realise the concept of seamless indoor and outdoor connection, large doors and windows were essential. Architect Federico Nardelli chose slender aluminium frames over traditional wooden ones to ensure they would stand up to exposure to salt air. In addition, aluminium is a high quality and technologically advanced material that adds to the value perception of the building, being an exclusive and upscale residential development.
Thanks to the slender profiles, we were able to perfectly achieve the maximum transparency and the perfect union between inside and outside.
On an architectural level, the windows definitely form the house
By focusing the design around a seamless interaction between outdoor and indoor spaces, the Palazzo Arbà reimagines the traditional Italian seaside villa into a unique, fresh residential lifestyle concept. Nardelli & Maggiali noted that more and more often in contemporary architecture, glass (both doors and windows) are becoming larger features than walls, and given the location of the project they chose to embrace this trend. ‘On an architectural level, the windows definitely form the house,’ says Nardelli.