Textiles Offices are in the neighborhood of Palermo, on the top floor of a building from the 1960s with a triple facade, surrounded by taller buildings and an environment of new, higher apartment towers. This situation makes it a rather unusual urban piece. Its roof, an independent functional unit, was unoccupied for over 30 years. Split in half by a sharp height difference, half of it was silver desolation under the sky, and half was a wide metal structure.
To take advantage of this situation of great contrasts was our starting point.
The terrace is an elevated urban haven. The decision to build the new office pavilion limiting views to the street causes it to be limited, isolated. Surrounded by the pergola at the entrance, the new pavilion, with its bridge over the pond, the industrial windows at the end of the stands, and protected by the water tank-tower, takes on the prominence of a square and the features of a cloister.
The new office pavilion is a glass gallery, a wooden door, steel columns, oxidized surfaces and ascetic modernity, all at once, over the dark water plants pond crossed by a floating bridge.
The recycled space, with a lightweight metal roof, gives the feeling of spaciousness. A large showroom houses wooden shelves, traditional tables for cutting fabric, old desks; everything is the right framework to highlight the colors and designs of the fabrics on display. One can barely discover that behind hide modern desks equipped for design.
Up here, the weather is different, the city is distant, so are the towers. Downstairs, the street runs for only 3 blocks. Even when surrounded by avenues, it keeps a quiet atmosphere.
The distracted pedestrian, who is attracted by the aroma of delicious Parisian macaroons, by the dark and provocative chocolate wrapped in gold paper, and by modern bikes from other times looming from above, perhaps curiosity will encourage him to go through a glass door, often guarded by kind and bizarre characters bundled up for the cold more than necessary. By doing so, he will enter a timeless market, he will tour a cacophony of colors and scents of fruits and vegetables encased behind glass framed by bright colors, lit by cold fluorescent lights. If he moves further inside, that same curiosity will let him discover the elevator, let him go up, through the levels surrounded by cars. Upon arriving, he will never imagine that at the top of the building, opening a heavy metal door, awaits an oasis between party walls.