Red and black are historically avant-garde colours. In the last century they represented bold uncompromising ideologies and artistic movements that combined ethical and cultural beliefs with innovative forms of expression. These were the colours that represented a certain turbulence or tension towards the essence of objects whereas white represented a vacuum or void in which to collocate their significance or meaning. A blank sheet of paper on which nothing has yet been written is white; once there is a text, the colour red is used to underline words.
In a similar way and in a contemporary setting Francesco Gatti associates colours to the objects he designs.
To convert an ex factory in the centre of Shanghai, the Italian architect was given certain criteria to follow and final requirements to be met: there should be premises to be used as offices, versatile spaces, meeting rooms, a reception and a café.
Taking into account the height of the rooms, it was decided to divide the upper space into two mezzanine floors joined together by two bridge-corridors. In this way a neutral central void was created. The use of white resin for the floors and epoxy applied directly onto the concrete makes the double height a perfect setting for the utility functions, all housed among objects resembling sculptures.
A faceted red object contains two meeting rooms and a kitchen in its lower level. It is separated from the floor by an illuminated slice of void and it reflects onto the white resin. Other less startling sculptures, are the reception desk which lies in the bend of the banister of the stairs and another long belt-like surface which can be used as a working surface which leads the way into the central area.
Text: Giampiero Sanguigni