The grand staircase defines the volume of the house, breaks the rigid division between the rooms, and creates a walk through the hanging gardens.

The thread of the project is the connection between respect for the identity of an architectural construction from the beginning of the 20th century and desire for a confrontation with it, using the instruments and tools of a contemporary architect. The pavilion is situated in the heart of an area of Art Deco pavilions between the Villa Torlonia and the Termini train station. The project comprises the restoration of the existing building and the construction of the client’s private residence. The existing building has undergone an intensive restoration to reinstate the original image and improve its accessibility: recovery of the original colors, redesign of the vertical circulation, landscape design of the garden surrounding the property. The two upper floors and the terraced roof have been completely rebuilt. The exceptional available space, inside and outside, suggested the creation of a veritable villa on the roof for the client’s residence. His principal requirement was that the two owners could easily interact in the wide space of the house, whilst preserving their privacy in their daily life. The core of the house is therefore a hollow space, a dynamic, luminous void containing and connecting the “events” of the house: - the music room, defined by the black volumes of the two grand pianos; - the kitchen, a travertine block, excavated by the domestic utilities; - the patio; - the entry hall with the grand staircase. These elements constitute a single unified space and span the entire space, a fluid division between the bedrooms and the living areas. The double-height entry hall is the heart of the project. The grand staircase, a typical element of buildings from the beginning of the 20th century, winds through the entryway, breaking up the rigid division between the rooms. It creates a promenade across the entire house, all the way through to the exterior, towards the suspended gardens and the roof areas, where one’s view can embrace the roman landscape and the surrounding hills.


Renovation of an Art Deco pavilion for offices and private house


Rome (Italy)




Architecture: SCAPE Architecture (Ludovica di Falco, Francesco Marinelli, Alessandro
Cambi and Paolo Mezzalama)
Team: Marta Nardone
Structural Engineering: M.Colasanti, A. Del Buono
Plant engineering: Italco
Site security: R.Farinelli
Landscape Design: Letizia Carpi


Project Design and site management


2004 - 2009


1,250 sq m SU including:
470 sq m - residence
250 sq m - suspended gardens


1,100,000 €


romArchitettura 4 2010 - best built project by a young architect


Ernesta Caviola