In the heart of the Esquilino, a Rome district well known for its multicultural identity, between period buildings and unexpected courtyards, in the attic of an elegant Umbertine-style building designed by Gaetano Koch, is a hidden place with ancient charm.
The top floor, where the clothes once hung, is today home to Ex-lavatoio (Ex-washhouse), a poly-dynamic workshop that combines creativity and the pursuit of quality, and doubles as a multifunctional space a suggestive location for events and photographic shootings.
The architectural firm Matca Studio has renovated the attic to create a flexible open space, leaving intact, as evidence of its former use, the late nineteenth century iron staircase, the original wooden ceiling, and the inscriptions on the walls “Centre, left and right apartments“, which once indicated the position of the related water tanks to the tenants.
The completely renovated interiors mix vintage elements, such as large wooden tables and Formica chairs, with more contemporary brands; great design classics – above all the Flos 265 wall lamp, with more refined objects, such as a TV radio cabinet from the 1950s.
The space also features handcrafted pieces, like the brass candle holders hanging from the ceiling, and industrial furnishings, such as the metal bookshelves that house a comprehensive selection of photography books; but the jewel in the crown is the terrace of over 40 square metres that overlooks the roofs of Rome, and offers a privileged view of Piazza Vittorio.
Antonella Sava explains:
“Ex-lavatoio has the intimate atmosphere of a private top floor, while maintaining a strong professional vocation. At a time when work is increasingly autonomous and exchanges between professionals are often reduced to virtual relationships, I thought of giving them back a physical space”, explains the founder. “I want to eliminate the separating line between home and work, adding training, business and networking elements, in a well-finished yet informal context, in which to share and create experiences “.
Part showcase, part laboratory, Ex-lavatoio aims to become a point of reference for the city, in which to explore original ways to shape a new beauty.
Photography is by Marco De Lucia and Slow Picture Studio.