GG-loop transforms Italian house with red and glittery faceted facade


A faceted red surface creates geometric patterns across the exterior of this house in southern Italy that architect Giacomo Garziano has renovated for his parents (+ slideshow).

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

The building has been Garziano's parents' home for 40 years. It also accommodates the Italian office of art collective Elephants and Volcanoes.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

The main house was built in the 1950s by the architect's grandfather, and was extended in the 1970s.

The brief given to Garziano's Amsterdam-based studio GG-loop was to create a new facade that unifies the two disparate parts, but also improves the building's energy efficiency.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

Garziano's strategy was to create a three-dimensional outer surface that exploits the contrast between light and shadow.

He deliberately chose red to make it stand out from the sky and the surrounding townscape – a technique also employed recently for a French cultural centre and an American house.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

"Red has the longest wave length of the visible spectrum and can be associated with the longest sound waves that, rather than touching our ears, are felt in the torso," he explained.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

"It touches the instincts of the viewer," he continued. "It is not linear, it is a multi-faceted perception that reaches out from the walls, transforming the residential building into a sculpture."

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

An exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) – a type of external cladding including both solid panels and a render topcoat – was used to create the faceted surface, largely made up of tessellating diamond shapes.

This extra layer of insulation helps the building retain heat, reducing its energy consumption.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

The outer coating comprises a mix of plaster, paint and resin, which gives the building its glittery red finish.

"The glittery effect is given by the final resin coating, in which glittering particles were mixed with the two resin components," said Garziano.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

"We wanted the building to vibrate over the whole day, turning from red to blue thanks to the glossy finishing, and from red to gold thanks to the more subtle golden vibrations of the glitter," he added.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

Named Gentle Genius, the house is located on a corner plot in the town of Altamura.

Inside, the original residence has been left almost entirely as it was, along with the office space used by the art collective. But a small area has been renovated to provide a guest apartment for a resident artist.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

Like the facade, this space is dominated by geometric patterns. The walls feature a honeycomb-like pattern, known as a Voronoi tessellation, that integrates storage areas and furniture elements.

Garziano named this part of the project The Infection, because its patterns are reminiscent of bacteria.

Gentle Genius by GG Loop

"Everything is integrated in the Voronoi organic structure," he explained. "The digitally fabricated wooden cells contain kitchen, LED lighting system, closets, bookshelves, audio system, pantry and so on."

Project credits:

Client: Cherubino Garziano, Rosa Giorgio
Architect: GG-loop
Energy efficiency calculation: Andrea Casamassima
Main contractor/builder: Impresa Cannito Domenico
Steel work: Saverio Petronella
Main supplier: Mapei

  • Mark

    Wouldn’t look out of place in Miami Beach anyway.

  • TFO

    “The Infection”?!

  • ringermcpinger

    Operation mind f*ck.

  • Adrian Chaffey

    You have to admit that as archiporn this is rather fascinating, but you have to wonder whether it’s going to have quite the same allure to anyone living on that street in 10 years time.

    • Not sure that’s valid criticism. Italy has a surprising number of old-style buildings still standing. Thing is, this kind of thing is artful, and Italians generally appreciate it, even if it’s not conducive to mainstream “tastes”.

      Too bad Americans don’t possess the same habit. The tendency here is to conform. And that’s not the kind of attitude that promotes architecture.

  • squarefetisch

    For his parents? Poor couple.

  • fawnster

    Wait, THAT’S the inside?

    • It looks like an aquarium. Living in here would be torture.

  • SteveLeo

    That interior would look bad on the moon, let alone anywhere on this planet.

  • Architects Anonymous

    The proportions of the red to the exterior concept of facets is really strong in this design. The subtle shifting of planes and the elongation of the red spectrum to the spectrum of the legendary Cthulhu, who will reign down upon us peon architects and wrap our minds with his hentai tentacles.

  • jan

    Regarding the red house in Italy, it is simply awful. It qualifies for “mess of the month” award. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

    • So much for the spirit of experimentation. At least Italians are trying. America is afflicted with the “let’s not take chances, and be as mundane as possible” attitude.

  • Michael King

    When the owners say “You can’t miss it,” they won’t be exaggerating.

  • Mauricio

    Was the architect mistreated by his parents? This house is an indulgence of the kid granted by the parents for him to showcase his sci-fi movie-stage abilities.

    Hard to imagine it is intended to be a permanent construction and, moreover, a place to live.

  • Leo

    I don’t like the interior, but I love the red façades.