In designing a home for his parents in Venice, architect Daniel Monti wrapped the second story in a sculptural steel screen that mimics the way a majestic Italian stone pine in the backyard filters light, offers privacy and shades the interiors. The screen, made of 4-by-4-foot panels of Cor-ten steel, was bent and perforated by laser-cut circles in six sizes.
“I liked the idea of using a timeless material,” Monti said. “Cor-ten steel develops a natural rusty patina when exposed to the elements. It’s beautiful today, and it’ll be beautiful 10 and 20 years from now.”
To prevent the resulting 3,000 steel cut-outs from going to waste, Monti devised an equally stunning indoor feature: a decorative guardrail for the staircase.
The gunmetal-gray circles were welded together in random fashion to form a thin wall. As the sun moves across the sky and throughout the house, the exterior screen and interior guardrail cast shifting shadows that are the negative and positive images of the same circles.
“We have such amazing light here,” said Monti, whose firm is Modal Design. “This was all about bringing light into the house to augment the spaces.”
-- Emily Young
Photos: Benny Chan / Fotoworks