Here are soem of the latest images on Instagram showing the Casa Sperimentale after the quick restauration for the CP company photoshoot. It is unclear to what extend the work has addressed the fabric of the buidling and amde it more secure or if the work has been limited to a covering of the main vandalism related issues.
It seems some of the broken windows have been fixed, the walls mainly painted, a general clean of the graffiti has been undertaken.
The Italian fashoon company CP company used the Casa Speriemntale as the backdrop to their launch for a new collection in 2020.
For this project the company agreed to ‘restore’ parts of the buidling and paint over most of the grafitti. Soem of the broken windows and doors were restored as well.
LINK to interview with Bianca Felicori who was in charge of locations for this project.
Very few images of the construction period have survived. As the structure was never completed—fulfilling the ambition to be unfinished and endless—it has never been formally photographically documented.
As part of our documentation we have extensively documented the architecture in its current fragile state to document the building, its setting and the actual structural damage caused by years of vandalism. Being in such a fragile state with some of the main structural members of the superstructure now corroded, there is a real danger of a catastrophic loss of the building in the near future.
In July 2018 we commissioned the photographer Andy Tye to document the building in its current state.
The set of photos attempted to show a different side of the building, seen through the eye of a professional photographer. Carefully crafted they show not only the spaces but they frame as well the deterioration of the structure and fragility of the elements.
This photographic record forms the basis of an invaluable document of the building.
more here: FrenchandTye
All photos are:
©Patrick Weber and ©Andy Tye, www.frenchandtye.com
The fashon designer Karl Lagerfeld used the Casa Sperimentale as the backdrop for the Fendi Autum/Winter 1998 campaign.
The images mainly showing the model Kirstin Owen were published mainly in Vogue in Italy, Germany and the United States.
The construction of the Casa Sperimentale was right from the start an organic process. Whereas the concrete superstructure was decided right from the beginning the rest of the process followed a much more open design process – one where the whole family Giuseppe, Uga and Raynaldo would debate openly about a number of different design options.
The building process started in 1968 and only a few images survive and show the building during the nearly 10 year construction period.
The main concrete frame consists of three mainframes with two additional L-shaped side frames hanging of the mainframes.
The horizontal beams hold crossbars that symmetrically support the independent concrete floor panels. Each of them is cast in site and connected with the frame through a cross-shaped metal coupling.
The floor and the ceiling panels are mirrored with the floor panels supported from underneath and the ceiling panels hung off the frame above.
Four floor panels are separated with a 50mm solid glass strip spaced out with metal circular spacers.
Hanging off the main support columns are two independent bathroom spheres. Each of them is cast in two segments into a mould in the ground, then raised in situ and connected with another shell forming a spherical space that is entered through a concrete tunnel off the main floors. This tunnel has a centre pivot circular door.
The floor planes leave openings between them. Some of these are closed with glass sheets while others form an opening tunnel connecting the pool underneath with the sky above.
All the surrounding walls are non-loadbearing. They are formed out of individually cast box elements with cast-in insulation. These elements are in size multiples of a 500mm grid. Some of these elements are 200mm thick where others form internal boxes used as storage, shelves, wardrobes, niches etc.
Each wall is topped with a 20mm frame element containing a horizontal striplight. This is covered with perspex.
There are special elements cast for some of the corners, while other concrete frames are open and contain windows.
All further openings are closed along the perimeter with bespoke metal window frames following mostly the same size logic, starting from 150mm, 500mm, 750mm and 1000mm elements. Some of them are openable as windows.
Underneath the raised treehouse-like structure is a pool. This body of water reflected the building elements above creating a mirror like appearance. Through this reflection, you have been able to see through the openings in the floors and towards the sky.
On site the family experimented with additional structures.
The Sphere, a 5m globe-like structure is conceived as a stand-alone micro house. Like the bathroom elements, the structure was cast into a hollowed-out mould in the sandy ground of the site. A scribe was used to shape the mould and to level the concrete in the casting process.
The idea was to install an additional suspended bathroom and a sleeping capsule within the sphere. Sadly this was never realised. The sphere is entered through a circular door. Each of the two pre-cast elements of the sphere is separated with a 250mm perspex strip.
The gust houses towards the rear of the sire were built in a traditional blockwork method and then rendered. Each of the three cubes is connected with a circular drumlike door at the front and a bathroom unit at the rear. All windows are circular opening with heavy metal shutters.
The whole site is surrounded by a semi-circular concrete fence topped with metal T-sections. The moulds to cast these elements can still be found on the site.
(All Photos are copyright by the Perunini family archive.)
The main supporting structure of the Casa Sperimentale with the three main frames and the two suspended frames supporting the floors and the suspended ceiling. The Bathroom pods have been lifted in place and suspended off the main columns.
The Bathroom shells were cast into a hollowed-out space in the ground. Using plaster the 1:1 mould was created. A circular scribe was used to spread the concrete evenly into the hollow mould.
After extraction from the ground two of the shells were connected at distance with a metal coupling and lifted into place.
This image shows th two bathroom elements lifted in place and hung off the main columns.
Reinforcement cage for one of the floor – and ceiling sections with the attached metal coupling.
This images shows the detail of the X-shaped coupling welded to the reinforcement cage of a ceilnig panel.
Floors and ceilings are structurally indepedent.
The ceilnig elements are hung off a supporting concrete frame.
The bottom half of the Sphere – Palla, extracted from the ground, waiting to be placed next to the main building.
The Palla under construction next to the main building.
The Casa Sperimentale is in an increasingly fragile state. Increased vandalism has opened the structure up to the weather. Metal corrosion on the main structural members connecting the concrete superstructure makes it more difficult to visit and survey the building with traditional methods. As the Perugini family improvised during the design and building phase there was no actual drawing record of the complete structure in the context of the site and the surrounding trees.
The relatively high levels of accuracy, combined with photogrammetry, enables detailed virtual modelling of entire buildings with millimeter precision, recording appearance and form as one. This level of detail enables more precise coordination and pre-planning of conservation efforts by allowing specialists to make useful preliminary assessments of material conditions before visiting site, as well as more effective coordination of equipment and machinery with regards to access.
3D scanned plan of the building and the surrounding site. The scan enables tree foliage to be removed to expose the building in its relation to the site. (3D scan plan drawing taken from the point-cloud information by the author)
Given the complexity of the Casa Sperimentale’s three-dimensional form, standard survey methods of photography and linear two-dimensional measurements would not have provided the certainty needed to be able to make reliable off-site assessments.
In a parallel sense, the level of access provided, combined with accuracy, enables a new degree of digital dissemination of architecture, rivalling the impact of architectural photography. The existence of a comprehensive digital model enables unprecedented access to the principle logic and form of the Casa Sperimentale to any number of viewers simultaneously, whilst protecting the existing building from further deterioration due to increased visitation by the survey teams as well as the public.
In this way, the 3D Scan serves as a preservation document, a comprehensive record of the building as it exists today-including, for better or worse, its dilapidations signs of wear, abuse, material fatigue, but also its endurance and the finer aspects of its weathering.
The 3D scans were made by Thomas Parker.
The scan film on Youtube
Letters and signs on the Casa Sperimentale
In 2015 the Italian design website DESIGNBOOM published one of the first reports on the Casa Sperimentale. After this date the house was much more in the public eye and known to much wider public.
The photos show the building in a much better shape with little to no grafitti and only a few of the windows broken.
(Photos by Oliver Astrologo)
Oliver Astrologo website