brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartment

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartment

golden box: a nest within a nest

 

The architects at Italian studio AMAA describe their recently completed Golden Box as more than just a new addition to the architectural landscape of Arzignano, Italy — a northern town of Vicenza. It’s a spatial exploration by architects Alessandra Rampazzo and Marcello Galiotto, a reflection on the very concept of dwelling. Inspired by modernist ideas of living, the Golden Box is a renovation and an intervention — a five-meter cube — that occupies most of a small apartment’s interior, its internal partitions removed. Clad entirely in brass panels by De Castelli, with occasional sections of imperial green marble, the Golden Box hints at the preciousness within.

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartment
Golden Box is an intervention within an existing apartment in Arzignano | image © Mikael Olsson

 

 

intentional irregularity by AMAA

 

AMAA’s placement of the Golden Box within the existing structure is deliberately irregular. The architects note that it doesn’t align with the walls or ceiling elements, but rather creates a series of misalignments that generate surprising spatial experiences. This encourages exploration around the object, with the only point of alignment being the kitchen area next to two windows overlooking the main street.

 

The craftsmanship and deliberate out-of-scale dimensions of the intervention serve as a catalyst for a broader reflection on architectural design. AMAA’s approach to history is both respectful and unburdened, seeking new design opportunities and dismantling traditional compositional rules. The Golden Box itself is a unique creation, handcrafted using bespoke techniques over a three-year period, with wooden furnishings by Zuffellato 1933.

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartmentthe five-meter cube occupies most of the space, clad in brass and green marble panels | image © Mikael Olsson

 

 

a ‘treasure chest’ in arzignano

 

With the Golden Box, AMAA tells the story of a golden object nestled within an early 1900s apartment, its richness echoing the original Palladian terrazzo floor. The new addition is a response to the concept of dwelling, specifically aiming to abolish the corridor — a sterile connector space typical of mid-century homes.

 

The client’s desire was for a small refuge, a weekend getaway close to their primary residence. They actively supported AMAA’s exploration of spatial concepts and materials. The design draws inspiration from the small living spaces of Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier, and Charlotte Perriand, with attention to detail and refinement. By removing existing partitions and restoring the Palladian floor, the space transforms to accommodate a single fiver meter-square volume — a ‘treasure chest’ containing all the essential functions: kitchen, sleeping area, bathroom, and relaxation space.

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartmentits placement is deliberately irregular, creating an unexpected play of spaces | image © Mikael Olsson

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartment
the project is a modern take on dwelling, eliminating unnecessary corridors | image © Mikael Olsson

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartment
the architects challenge traditional design and encourage exploration of the Golden Box | image © Mikael Olsson

AMAA-golden-box-arzignano-italy-designboom-06a

the Golden Box behaves like a window framing a courtyard | image © Simone Bossi

brass and green marble wrap AMAA's 'golden box' intervention in northern italian apartment
the design references works of Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier, and Charlotte Perriand | image © Simone Bossi

AMAA-golden-box-arzignano-italy-designboom-08a

the clients actively participated in the design of the residence | image © Simone Bossi

 

 

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project info:

 

project title: Golden Box

architecture: AMAA Collaborative Architecture Office For Research And Development | @amaa_office

location: Arzignano, Vicenza, Italy

partners: Marcello Galiotto, Alessandra Rampazzo
collaborators: Francesca Fasiol, Costanza Favero, Serena Bolzan

consultant: Operae | a Marine Interiors Company

brass panels and details: De Castelli

wooden furnishings: Zuffellato 1933

completion: March 2024

photography: © Simone Bossi | @simonebossiphotographer, Mikael Olsson | @mikaelolsson_

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