Rome: Retreat of a diplomat

Schlafzimmer mit Badezimmer min der Casa del Diplomatico

In the elegant Flaminio district in Rome, a few steps from the MAXXI Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art, emerging architecture and interior design studio 02A has reimagined the interior of a 130 sqm apartment.

The traditional apartment was bought by the diplomat Alfonso Tagliaferri, who was stateless for work, but in search of his first private home, to which he could return at the end of each mission.

A place to feel good

“The client has given us a wider opportunity to reflect on the concept of home as a place of belonging, even more if not lived in on a daily basis. The mental construction of the project was a journey into his memory and aspirations, through a constant and free dialogue, in search of useful traces to define a thread that guided and contained every choice, every missed connection, every digression, translating the experience into architecture” – says Marco Rulli, co-founder of the Rome-based studio together with Thomas Grossi.

The new rooms of the apartment reflect the renewed use, no longer a bourgeois family nest but the residence of a diplomat, with totally different social rhythms and needs.

The whole world in just one flat

Inside, one can stroll among relics and handcrafts from many countries, including South Africa and the Philippines. The main focus of the project is the sleeping area, a large room conceived as a suite with an open space bathroom characterized by a volume with a smoked mirror surface that expands the domestic landscape and gives maximum diffusion to the natural light coming from the three large windows arranged on the South-West side.

An arched passage with a custom-made bookcase leads to a more intimate dining area. Here, neutral tones on the walls provide a theatrical backdrop to the family’s antique furniture and works of art (tapestry by Igshaan Adams; Classroom by Pascale Marthine Tayou), while the Illan birch pendant lamp by Luceplan rests on a glass-surface table with vintage ‘50s chairs in a continuous dialogue between ancient, modern and contemporary.

A curved wall marks the entrance to the most private area of the house. On the one hand, the service bathroom with its suspended ceramic tub and black marble surfaces resembles a cabinet of curiosities wrapped in Palm Jungle wallpaper by Cole & Son and the sinuous shapes of shells, natural figures, travel treasures and handcrafted Vienna straw sconce. On the other hand, the studio with two souls: that which is dedicated to cinematographic art with upholstered vintage theater chairs (projector and motorized cloth hidden in the ceiling) and the other for writing and smart work moments with the Helsinki desk by Desalto and the iconic Serbelloni armchair designed by Vico Magistretti for De Padova.

The centrepiece?
Bedroom with private bathroom

EA cobalt blue velvet curtain reveals the heart of the apartment: the bedroom with a private en suite bathroom divided into several spaces. The horizon of warm colors of Ukiyo wallpaper by Nobilis on the doors of the made-to-measure wardrobe blends with the immaterial cubic volume that hides the bathroom services. Thanks to the layered glazing resin of the decorator Franco Casi Melcarne, the environment finds its own visual and formal unity from which the bathtub and shower area of the bathroom take shape.

“We tried to play with the concept of time, we didn’t want a “finished” house, we were interested in giving space to the unfinished, to the imperfection that would contain the vital force of curiosity” – say the architects.

02A completes an elegant renovation where contemporary design, art and travel treasures blend with natural materials and bold, full-color hues. The luxuriant green of the indoor plants envelops everything, enriching the succession of environments, giving an open and intimate space at the same time for those who, like the owner, live in their home as a citizen of the world.


Fotos: Serena Eller