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In Mantova, A Romantic Apartment with Remains of a Late Renaissance Fresco

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In Mantova, A Romantic Apartment with Remains of a Late Renaissance Fresco

April 12, 2017

In the Northern Italy town of Mantova—named the “Italian capital of culture” by the national government last year—local architects Archiplan Studio used a light touch when rehabbing a circa 1600 apartment for a private real estate investor. The one-bedroom flat reveals the remains of a 400-year-old fresco throughout, making the passage of time the home’s primary decorative element. Sleek, all-white Italian furnishings are secondary players.

Photography by Davide Galli, courtesy of Archiplan Studio.

all white apartment italy sofa kitchen walls archiplan studio
Above: Nearly all the furnishings are white, save for the occasional antique or light fixture.
all white italian apartment living room long dining table archiplan studio
Above: The architects preserved an original archway, which dates to 1600—it now frames a custom, white laminate kitchen.
all white apartment modern table white chairs scraped wallpaper walls archiplan studio
Above: The original fresco is carefully integrated into the new plaster walls. An essential dynamic at play in the apartment is the “blurry relationship between the natural and artificial,” say the architects.
living room italy apartment scraped wallpaper walls archiplan studio
Above: The architects installed new wood plank floors and painted them in glossy white paint.
aged plaster scraped wallpaper walls italy apartment archiplan studio
Above: Fresco painting, popular during the Italian Renaissance, is created by applying water-based pigment to wet lime plaster; as the plaster dries, the pigment becomes an integral part of the surface.
aged plaster walls apartment italy archiplan studio
Above: Throughout the apartment, light fixtures project illumination upward to highlight the textural frescoed ceiling. Here, the Toio Floor Lamp for Flos, designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.
white walls sofa mirror closet archiplan studio
Above: A built-in hallway storage closet is covered in mirrors.
all white apartment hallway mirror closet archiplan studio
Above: All interior doors are original to the apartment and painted white.
white bedroom aged scraped plaster wallpaper walls archiplan studio
Above: A single unifying curtain rod runs along the entire windowed wall of the apartment.
white bedroom with projector television italy archiplan studio
Above: The bedroom is open to the hallway, and two double doors open onto the bathroom. A projector system in the all-white bedroom means no unsightly television is on view.
all white bathroom apartment italy ceramic tile wainscot archiplan studio
Above: The bathroom was completely remodeled by Archiplan; it features new plumbing fixtures—including the requisite Italian bidet—and an antique mirror.
white tile shower antique blue gray armoire archiplan studio
Above: The new shower is lined in Simply diamond-edged white ceramic tile by Devon & Devon.
vintage gray and white blue armoire two toned wall archiplan studio
Above: Bathroom storage is tucked inside an antique blue-and-white armoire.

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