The Manassei Palace Penthouse renovation aims to find back the original space under the roof turning it into a warm contemporary open space environment.


The design theme of the relationship between old and new in a sixteenth-century Palazzo Manassei renovation has been addressed through the elimination of any non-structural part built later to find back the integrity of the original spaces enclosed only by load-bearing walls.


The challenge has been to reconstruct the minimum of walls without interfering with the structure of the spaces in order to obtain interconnected open space environments as open and communicating as possible with a warm atmosphere created by raw and natural materials.


The spaces are distributed on two levels with the entrance, a hall, a small independent guest apartment, and a family living room with TV and fireplace which leads to the master bedroom on one side and go up to the double height attic spaces on the other.  All the living areas are interconnected between each other with a spatial continuity among the living room, the studio above, the dining area and a large open kitchen screened by sliding glass doors.


Only two partitions designed as backdrops are reconstructed within the space of the dining room and the master bedroom without joining the perimeter walls, therefore without separating the space, but only shielding the service functions enclosed behind them.


In the dining area a large scenographic table reproduces an inaccurate map of Italy memory of the globes and geographical maps often found in Renaissance palaces, whose unexpected form invites an informal and dynamic use.

The goal of the project was to create a contemporary space for living, with flexible, open spaces interconnected with each other within the original space of the sixteenth century palace.


An innovative approach aimed to find back the original essence of the spaces in respect of the original structures. The space under the roof in the sixteen century Palaces was usually used as a pigeon house or service areas, so that it was left raw with naturally exposed materials. This inspired the use of the materials used, raw and natural as they should have been originally. Cement plaster, floors and ceilings are made by brushed wood, natural stone with different finishes as consumed by time, splitted, brushed, bush-hammered and polished, and sheets of flamed and brass-plated iron, together with the velvets and leather of sofas and armchairs, create all together a warm and antique effect with a contemporary language.