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"Piazza Della Pausa" (Pause Square), 2019. Image: Lorenzo Bressan, Marta Crippa, Alexa Tamburrini

We live in an eventful era, aimed at the continuous search for novelty in which the past is seen with distrust. Everything you no longer need becomes old extremely quickly. This happens with objects, with places, with buildings, which, being deprived of their function, are abandoned to themselves, becoming leftovers. Silent advances with a thousand potentialities hiding the history of the people, of the city, of the past society that has left its traces. This is why "Avanzi" or "Leftovers" are places that cannot be lost, but rather must be exalted and emphasized to become monuments of memory.

Thanks to the use of rhetorical figures, we can enhance words by recreating altered images. Among these is hyperbole, whose function is to exasperate a concept at the extreme, deforming the reality to give it greater expressiveness and amplify the effect. By translating the definition of hyperbole into the field of design, our action of designers wants to exaggerate the state of real leftover not through the re-creation of surreal environments or parallel realities (which would imply the risk of "deceiving" the user by proposing something not real), but through physical exasperation you want to exalt the real state of the places.

The leftovers we discussed are some of the offices of the pharmaceutical company Famar, whose headquarters is located in Baranzate, near the former Expo area, a place for the future creation of Mind, a research center in the suburbs of Milan. Given the proximity to this place intended for the passage of many people also from abroad, it was decided to design within the Famar leftover, a place from the flexible function that can be transformed from daytime workstations to night hotel rooms.

Basilica inspired Hall, 2019. Image: Lorenzo Bressan, Marta Crippa, Alexa Tamburrini
Rest/Work cabins, 2019. Image: Lorenzo Bressan, Marta Crippa, Alexa Tamburrini

“Tregua” or "Respite" is based on the idea of overturning what we are used to by exaggerating situations, taking them to extremes to create something new, surprising, and exaggerated. For this reason, the interior design is mainly based on the inversion of the concept of interior and exterior. Space is transformed into a conceptual square, divided between public area, lived, noisy, dynamic, and central, intended for recreation and pause; and private area, located on the sides of the space, peripheral which receives sunlight from the perimeter windows and which is reserved, closed, intended for work during the day and rest during the night.

Tregua, Floor Plan Color Palette, 2019. Image: Lorenzo Bressan, Marta Crippa, Alexa Tamburrini

Like a real home, the cabin for rest and work is divided into rooms dedicated to different actions and overlooks "Piazza Della Pausa", like houses in urban centers. What other typical elements of the Italian square? The basilica is then proposed in the hall, whose original plan resembled a Latin cross plan of an ancient cathedral. The hall takes up conceptually and symbolically some of the most evident features of the ancient basilicas, such as the arches, the altar, the benches, and the decoration of the dome. In this way, as soon as you enter the space you are projected into a new upside-down world which aims to improve the performance of the place by emphasizing the elements already present to give it a new life with different clothes. The indoor-outdoor inversion is also applied for the outdoor space, in fact, you can choose to turn it into an outdoor living room whose furniture is placed on a square carpet of red bricks.

Outdoor living room, 2019. Image: Lorenzo Bressan, Marta Crippa, Alexa Tamburrini

Thanks to these design stratagems the former Famar offices have been converted into new multifunctional spaces keeping the original history of the place using only materials that are already present on-site, and that have been exalted in different ways following the design strategy linked to the concept of Hyperbole.

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