There’s something dreamlike about the spaces created by Studio Strato, the latest architecture firm to cross my screen, that feels completely of-the-moment. The studio, a collaboration between Italian architects Vincenzo Tattolo and Martino Fraschetti, started in 2007 and is based in Rome, and the architects’ creations feel both serene and unexpected, sophisticated and playful.
So much so that it was difficult to choose which of the firm’s projects to feature as their debut on Remodelista. But Martino’s own nineteenth-century house, in Rome, remodeled by Studio Strato, seems a good place to start.
Here, Martino and Vincenzo turned their professional practice towards a deeply personal space: an Umbertino-style building in the “thrilling and multiethnic neighborhood of Esquilino,” remodeled from a haphazard office into an airy and artful “Ping Pong House” for Martino and his girlfriend, Livia. The finished space has cloud-colored plaster walls, fittings that don’t take themselves too seriously (see: the ping pong table that doubles as a dining table), the odd remnant from the couple’s own families, and filtered Roman light.
Join us for a walk through.
Photography by Serena Eller, courtesy of Mondador and Studio Strato.
The Umbertino-style house was built at the end of the 19th century, Vincenzo says, but in the time since had been converted into an office space. “The house was an office with many small rooms. It was necessary to demolish a few walls to transform it into a house with bigger spaces,” he says.
Now, the bright interiors are painted mostly in Little Greene’s Slaked Lime. The living room is at once sumptuous and bare-boned, sophisticated (with gypsum statuary models, originally intended for Italian cemeteries, “bought in Pietrasanta, in Versilia,” in one corner) and laid-back (as in the folding canvas and wood Tripolina chairs that once belonged to Livia’s grandmother). (For a modern version, see the Tripolina 1855 chair by Telami.)
(N.B.: We’re noting classical statues in interiors; see Trend Alert: Classical Statues in Interiors, 9 Favorites.)
Elsewhere, the team was able to demolish the more recently built office walls that chopped up the space. But not here, Vincenzo explains: “Not being able to demolish the wall between the living room and the dining room, the Strato team decided to make it a big passing-through bookcase, which divides the spaces without closing them.”
“Being an office, there was no kitchen,” Vincenzo explains. The architects painted the lower half of the wall an almost indiscernible pale grey, built custom ad-hoc open shelves, and sourced the sink and range from Ikea. The effect is a space that feels accessible and a little deconstructed.
The small paintings are another family heirloom—they “were in Martino’s father’s office, from the 19th-century Roman School,” Vincenzo says.
We’ll be keeping a tab open to Studio Strato to see what’s next from the duo. In the meantime, tour three more artful spaces in Italy: