Loano, Italy / 2008

Ex Opificio D’Oria


Love in white

The restructuring of two levels of the Opificio Doria, an old production space in Loano, to make a home with an intimate, discreet domestic atmosphere. While reinterpreting, in a creative way, the history of the place, making architecture a medium for narration of other things. At times, a house can speak to memory, reawakening  recollections, not through tangible, material things, but like a breeze, an aroma that piques the sensed leads us towards forgotten futures.
At Loano, in Liguria, on the third and fourth floors of a historic factory, the Opificio Doria, this house is inserted in the form of an enigma; its large terrace floats over the houses of Borgo Castello, looking to the sea and the Sanctuary of Monte Carmelo built in the 1600s by order of Andrea Doria. Borgo Castello is built around a small court that is a compendium of architectural memories, with brick mullioned windows and archivolts, and stone portals with the slate frames typical of these places. History is a discreet, domestic presence here, and the desire of Antonio Lagorio, a Ligurian painter and architect, was to magically make it resonate, without citations, in the atmosphere of this house. The Piranesian suggestion of dizzying spaces – the internal section varies in height from four to eight meters – begins with a depressed arch that had to be conserved due to its acknowledged historical value, which cuts the third floor in two. The arch is flanked by three large new flat columns, like wall segments made with plasterboard on a metal framework, that rise for five meters and then bend to become horizontal features on the upper level. The entrance opens onto these dividers that screen the view of the visitor, who moves along the perimeter of an ideal portico to suddenly discover the size of the place, almost like an urban square, for entertaining and cooking, for watching and and being watched by the Monastery of the Barefoot Carmelites, the sea and the town. The upper level looks down on the space below, thanks to a balustrade, from a second living area, this time more intimate and domestic. Protected  by the wooden beams of the large pyramid-shaped roof, the bedrooms on the fourth floor are cubical volumes, without doors, that seem to function as autonomous buildings, relating to each others by means of interstitial spaces that have the tone to the narrow streets typical of Ligurian urban spaces, the so-called caruggi. The owners are very fond of this rich, complex, very unconventional space they share with their three children, who enjoy romping in this little segment of the town, private and hidden, crossed by the mysterious winds of memory.

Ernesta Caviola
published on INTERNI n. 580

Ex Opificio D’Oria

Loano, Italy


architectural  design
Antonio Lagorio
founder partner GianlucaPeluffo&Partners

Renovation of an 16th Century Palace

total area
200 m2


© Ernesta Caviola