FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO NEW YORK
The home is like a great heart which opens up only to those who know how to listen to it. For Pancotti, the creator of marvelous, sustainably produced mineral surfaces, the heartbeat lies in the best Italian tradition; in the undefined matrix of lime taken to such heights of modernity that it seems like a painting by Borghi; in the infinite color palette, unsurprisingly christened Raffaello – the Renaissance painter pathologically concerned with the perfection of multiple color variations. Pancotti surfaces for architecture is actually an immense laboratory, an industrial workshop where technical competence mixes with alchemy, geared towards respect for the environment as well as aesthetics. One only has to look at the reception area of the Museum in Palazzo San Sebastiano, once the home of Marchese Francesco II Gonzaga, it has survived huge transformations: from barracks to leper hospice, before finally becoming a museum. The perfect semicircle, before finally becoming a museum. The perfect semicircle drawn by Pancotti is a sort of yin that accompanies the visitor into the yang of the building, developing the concept of welcome-ing and making it tangible. On the other hand, it would suffice to see the home of German-born, British citizen Monika, who works on international projects and who intend to gather her creative soul in a pleasant retreat on a hilltop in the Marche region. The flooring is as grey as a cloudy sky, the downstairs bathroom is the blue of the sea whilst that on the first floor has walls as yellow as the wheat fields seen from the window; the window-frames are as blue as the distant Appennine Moutains which crenellate the horizon: There are many details that go into making this house distintive; designed and created by people; who; both for work and for the love of doing so, make already things even more so. In his Trattato della pittura, Leonardo da Vinci reflects on the changes in color of mountains and hills the further away they are from the observer. It is a sublime game of the mind and the senses to bring the colors of nature into the house. Pancotti does this with the variety of its offering: Microcemento able to absorb smog, a lime mortar which is somewhere between a terrazzo alla Veneziana and the cocciopesto sample by Foster+Partners in London and Ecomateria, a smooth and ultra-resistant mineral mortar which can coat marble, terracotta, ceramics and plasterboard. These are innovative surfaces because they are extremely easy to install, they leave no mess and are also entirely natural whereas resins are chemical. Everything is carried out in complete respect both of aesthetics and furnishing trends.
Such as the terrazzo veneziano for example: its story lies in Ancient Greece and Roman times, but it owes its fame to 15th century Venice where it dominated as a mosaic flooring made with reused stone clippings and offcuts. At that time, it would have contained various types of stones, bound with lime mixed with gravel and later with cement; then, in the years to follow, it was developed into economical and popular flooring, the effect being that of a sort of marble. Today, the rare and noble nature of terrazzo flooring has been re-evaluated and it has found a place in Pancotti’s architectural vision.
Even the Raffaello range hasn’t taken an arbitrary name: it was the great Renaissance artist himself who invented the lime wash finish in order to make nocturnal gloom seem real. This process involved diluting the lime and applying it blind as it were, as a transparence coating which only after some minutes, as it emerged from the surface, would reveal its true nature.
by Monica Camozzi