Cesare Cattaneo, Rental house, via Regina 41, Cernobbio, 1938-39
The rental house was commissioned to Cesare Cattaneo by his family, who owned the plot. Thanks to this particular condition, the architect had the opportunity to devote himself to project research and to freely develop dedicated solutions, without being constrained by external clients. The building fits into a long, narrow lot surrounded by existing buildings. The result is a building that dialogues dynamically with its historical context, enlivening the existing street screen with a play of volumes. The house has four floors above ground, the ground floor is double-height and was intended to house commercial activity. Here large windows separate the interior and exterior and lighten the ground connection and are interrupted only by the pillars that mark the rhythm and streamline the building. On the two upper floors, the elevations are characterised by long balconies that create two horizontal bands that optically extend the façade. A parallelepiped is superimposed on the top floor, set back from the lower floors and enclosed by a metal grid supporting the brise-soleil (sunshades). The architect also studied innovative solutions for the interior, paying great attention to detail, from the staircase with its triangular section steps to the precise design of the doors and windowsand their handles. It houses the Cesare Cattaneo’s Archives.