top of page

Empty Waterhouse, 2019, Varese

The Varese wash-house, built in the '20s, in the fascist era, is little more than a big room covered by a sloping roof supported by ten brick pillars that were once exposed and today are part of the perimeter walls. The big central tub was used by the women of the neighbourhood to do their laundry.

The Wash House recovers in a certain sense its original function: the dirty laundry was washed to use again, with the new Thrift Shop to be hosted in the building, people can now bring garments and objects that are no longer useful to start a new life for them.

A place to wash away the uselessness and ignite new opportunities, where one’s leftover is someone else’s interest.


Floorplan "RIPOSTO", talks, 2019. Francesco Antonelli, Riccardo Palomba

Three design proposals were developed for the Wash House. The first one is called RIPOSTO, Italian word for “put aside”. The project sees in the ceiling intervention its main feature: a suspended interweaving of metal profiles is inspired by the web of chat and gossip that was weaved every day by the women washing their clothes.


The second project is DA CAPO, and takes its inspiration from the history of the building. Soap and water were the main inhabitants of the Wash House, and in the design they come back in the shape of plastic bubbles that contain the items sold in the shop.

Section "DA CAPO", Bubbles from the central thub to the courtyard, 2019. Lucrezia Noseda, Eleonora Rossi

Visualization "DA CAPO", Bubbles, 2019. Lucrezia Noseda, Eleonora Rossi


The third and last design proposal is INONDA, which means “FLOOD” and plays with the memory of the Wash House. Water, the one and true protagonist of the space comes back to fill it up to the roof. It is evoked through recycled plastic panels that are ruched and waved to flood the space with transparencies and dynamic light reflections, just like old times.

Visualization "INONDA", Water, 2019. Tianyi Mao, Clarice Mirandola, Lucia Ratti


  • Twitter
  • Instagram
bottom of page