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Casa Cattaneo and Alchieri

Pietro Lingeri, Casa Cattaneo and Alchieri, via Mentana 25, Como, 1934 - 1950

Casa Cattaneo and Alchieri is also known as the "house of overlapping villas" due to the architect's desire to create accommodation with its own autonomy within a single complex. The result is a rectangular building, a single, compact block defined by straight lines. The main façade is designed by the horizontal bands of the balconies that extend along the entire length, they are closed off in the centre by concrete parapets which are lightened at the sides by metal solutions, slender metal pillars are placed between the different floors to briefly interrupt the scanning. The façade is made dynamic thanks to the play of light and shadow that are generated thanks to the setbacks of the house at the ends. This is not just a formal solution, but a functional requirement to protect the south-west facing façade from excessive solar irradiation. The back façade does not need this kind of protection, and it is only broken by the window openings and the large glass block in the centre of the composition near the staircase. The interiors also pay attention to the finishes and the rational distribution of the living spaces, distributed in two appartments for all five floors. The height of the building was modified by Lingeri's addition of top unit in the 1950s, and with it the entire formal perception of the house.