The Typology of the Genoese apartment building
One house: An apartment house
Typologia a Blocco
Different aspects should be taken into consideration no matter if you are to design a space, a house or a big apartment building. I had to start with two of the important ones especially for this project – Typology and Topology.
Typology focuses on the overall characteristics of a building for example Genoa’s Typology is characterized by small apartment buildings with often narrow interspaces, a lot of street openings and repetition.
Topology, on the other hand, focuses on the building’s surrounding area and the city of Genoa is shaped by two important natural factors – the Apennine Mountains and the coast of the Ligurian Sea, which provide several building limitations.
As with any architecture project, you can always choose whether to go against the surrounding environment in order to attract attention or you can make something that fits in and blends by honoring all local architecture practices. I decided to approach this assignment by designing a building which fits in with all the characteristics of a typical Genoese apartment building.
Idea and design
My visit to Genoa was vital for me to shape an understanding of the characteristics of the city and provide rich inspiration from the source. For example, the patio or the inner courtyard is an important feature of any Genoese apartment building, it’s often used for recreation and it comes in different shapes and sizes. In some buildings patios are often decorated with large statues and water fountains, suggesting the building is occupied by upper class residents. Furthermore, most of the buildings’ ground floors are used for commercial establishments such as a variety of stores and cafes. Frequently, some of the upper floor apartments give way to offices, creating a mixture of business and private spaces, especially in the more central parts of the city.
Working on my project I’ve tried to incorporate all those subtle nuances typical for the Genoese residential building. My building consists of 8 Floors – an underground floor with storage rooms for every apartment, ground floor for two cafes and two stores and 6 upper apartment floors. There are 2 staircases along with 2 elevators on the two opposite sides of the building and we have 4 apartments per floor. Every home has a loggia, 3 bedrooms and a big living room. All of the apartments are directed both outwards to the other buildings and inwards to the patio.