Strolling through the historic city centre in Florence, only minutes away from Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery, one may encounter, among the many inner courtyards hidden away in historic buildings, a “bookstore which also serves food in”, a cosy, welcoming atmosphere.
The interior design project was recently renovated by architects Javier Deferrari and Lavinia Modesti, who implemented a few minimal, carefully thought-out actions to renew the atmosphere of the bookstore without changing its basic nature, improving its practical functioning while visibly preserving the signs of previous renovations. For example, they transformed the entrance to create a window display space and replaced the internal bookshelves with wall-mounted units that take up less space.
But the heart of the project is still the courtyard that visually links the two main rooms. It is an open 65 sqm area, a flexible place for social gatherings. In this space Deferrari+Modesti designed a temporary installation, built in collaboration with architects Valentina Muscedra and Sergio Leone, which has now evolved into an integrated solution for limiting transmission of noise to the homes around the bookstore.
The installation consists of a lightweight, modular structure of steel cables supported by the outer walls of the courtyard, placed at the height of the ceilings inside the bookstore. More than 5000 strips of fabric in different colours, 5 cm wide and varying in length between 75 and 175 cm. are suspended in the lower part of the structure. In the upper part, a series of Roman shades made of sound-absorbent fabric use the same steel cables as guides and further limit noise transmission at the bookstore’s busiest times.
Design: Deferrari+Modesti (Javier Deferrari, Lavinia Modesti) www.deferrari-modesti.com
Acoustic consultant: Antonio Lotti
Location: Florence, Italy
Images courtesy of Deferrari+Modesti, photo by Anna Positano www.theredbird.org