Playful, theatrical colours set stage in Retroscena by La Macchina Studio

Retroscena is a renovated 1950s Italian residence which retains its original Venetian flooring, its interiors defined by blue arches and yellow accents against white surfaces.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Dec 10, 2020

Italian designer duo La Macchina Studio has completed Retroscena, a home where architecture, graphic design, theatre, music and illustration combine like watercolour cakes laid inside a paint set. Originally a 1950s apartment, the house was transformed into a “surreal set where reality and fiction coexist in a quasi-theatrical scene,” according to Gianni Puri and Enrica Siracusa, founders of La Macchina Studio.

The colour pop, theatrical interiors of Retroscena apartment in Rome | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
The colour pop, theatrical interiors of Retroscena apartment in Rome Image: Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

Located in the heart of Appio Latino in Rome, Italy, Retroscena is designed for a young couple who wished to keep the pre-existing Venetian terrazzo flooring, aided by local craftsmen who restorated it with some new materials. The rest of the residential design erupts in a fresh storytelling format, with solid blue arches and vivid yellow accents sitting pretty against minimal white surfaces.

The space before renovation | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
The space before renovation Image: Courtesy of La Macchina Studio
The house after renovation | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
The house after renovation Image: Paolo Fusco, Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

“With Retroscena, we wanted to enhance the irreverent and surreal nature of the architectural story, which is inextricably linked to its photographic alter-ego by playing with colour contrasts, graphic motifs and unexpected incursions,” share Puri and Siracusa.

An illustration defining the interiors of Retroscena | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
An illustration defining the interiors of Retroscena Image: Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

The renovation makes way for a clear band in black and Botticino marble that defines the living area’s floor. The corridor maintains the original flooring style of a pinkish binder with pozzolan powder, while the bedroom welcomes warm nuances of brick red microcement, giving it a pinkish hue. “The result is a combination of designs in different grains and colours that create a ‘collage’ effect, in contrast with the absolute white of the plastered walls,” the designers remark.

The flooring displays a playful collage of the old and new | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
The flooring displays a playful collage of the old and new Image: Paolo Fusco, Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

The 75 sqm house unravels longitudinally along the main wall, the spaces punctuated by different elements, and simple, lacquered wood furniture and lighting pieces. The living room takes up the most space in the dwelling, its centerpiece a cobalt blue arched door that faces daffodil yellow curtains running along the demolished partition wall.

View of the living from the classic blue archway | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
View of the living from the classic blue archway Image: Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

These provide a soft border for demarcating the spaces, behind which sits a low height blue console. The arched doorway juts out 70cm toward the dining room with a white spindly table and skinny chairs, a top shaped colour pop lamp hangs overhead. A circular red art piece rests above a teal green sofa placed in the space, separated by the curtains.

The blue doorway juts out, screening the sink and cabinet space | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
The blue doorway juts out, screening the sink and cabinet space Image: Paolo Fusco, Courtesy of La Macchina Studio
A primary red wall hanging atop the sofa | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
A primary red wall hanging atop the sofa Image: Paolo Fusco, Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

A grey-blue doorway set flush to the wall almost seems drawn on, and opens into a two-room bathroom. White ceramic square tiles with black grouting cover the wall of the first one with a shower space and bathtub. A simplified Gothic arch cuts into this tiled wall, framing a washbasin that sits inside the second part of the washroom with peacock blue enamel covering, and two commodes placed on opposite walls (hidden from view).

  • Gothic arch frames the washbasin | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
    Gothic arch frames the washbasin Image: Courtesy of La Macchina Studio
  • The first part of the white tiled washroom | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
    The first part of the white tiled washroom Image: Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

The classic blue arched wooden door leads into the bedroom with powder pink flooring and a quaint interior outlined by a low hanging pendant light and soft coloured drapes. The hallway’s spine hosts a white lacquered bridge wardrobe, which conceals a small study; an intimate, silent space designed as a reader’s refuge, separated in design and aesthetic from the rest of the playful interior design.

Pink stained floors of the bedroom | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
Pink stained floors of the bedroom Image: Paolo Fusco, Courtesy of La Macchina Studio
A white wardrobe conceals a small study | Retroscena designed by La Macchina Studio | STIRworld
A white wardrobe conceals a small study Image: Paolo Fusco, Courtesy of La Macchina Studio

“Retroscena’s bold colour choices and savvy design tricks give personality to its interiors, turning the spotlight on the inhabitants, protagonists of a theatrical and architectural piece full of surprises,” observe Puri and Siracusa.

Project Details

Name: Retroscena
Location: Quartiere Appio Latino, Rome, Italy
Ground Floor Area: 75 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: La Macchina Studio (Gianni Puri, Enrica Siracusa)

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