Casa di Vetro


Office design for experimental popular housing

A popular housing project in Milan, conceived to experiment with a new idea of interior living spaces, based on light and transparency; a flexible system, which can be adapted to different needs. This is “Casa di Vetro”: a project shaped by the collaboration between Domus Academy in Milan, the design studio Barreca & La Varra, MM SpA and a pool of leading names in the interior and office design sector, including Mirage.

The idea that came from a workshop

The idea took shape from “Design of Spaces II”, a workshop that involved international students and envisaged the reconfiguration of the layout of a popular housing apartment, employing elements generally used in office design. The projects created by the students yielded a very positive, creative outcome, underlining a number of improvements that could be made: the creation of more spacious rooms, thanks to the more slender width of the glass elements compared to traditional partition walls; the possibility to look through each room and have natural light filter in from outdoors, and to make spaces larger or smaller, connecting and separating them according to need or mood. This prompted the team to try to apply the design ideas to an actual popular housing project in Milan.

The key role of natural light

Seeking light, regardless of the exposure of the home; the need to have large, seamless spaces, with open-plan solutions that can be divided if necessary, and most importantly of all, given the larger amount of time we now spend at home, a profound vision, with changing landscapes and colours and shifting light and shade effects that can be controlled as we please: these have become impelling needs. Adaptability, movement, flexibility, coexistence: the home thus becomes an almost theatrical scenario for the lives played out in it; according to needs, just as in the theatre, the curtains can be moved, opened or closed to “stage” our everyday lives with varying levels of privacy, and the different areas in the home can engage with each other as we please.

The key elements in the project

Mirage took part in the project with great enthusiasm, supplying the tiles for the floor and part of the walls, applying solutions able to respond to the architectural, sustainability and energy efficiency requirements of the designers of Casa di Vetro. This project also has significant value for Mirage, because it represents a new model of engagement with the institutions, academia, architecture and business, with a view to elevating the concept of popular building towards a social, shared, quality concept of living spaces.
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