Keywords Change this


Project timeline

1966 – 1970


Private House

Location Change this

Via Giuseppe Marchi 3
00161 Rome

Architect Change this

Client Change this

Pasquale Papanice


Article last edited by Bostjan on
April 10th, 2020

Papanice House Change this

1 of 17

Description Change this

Casa Papanice, one of the most significant works by Paolo Portoghesi in the field of residential construction, was built between 1966 and 1970 in collaboration with the engineer Vittorio Gigliotti, on a commission received from the Apulian businessman Pasquale Papanice.

On a typological level, the building responds to the canons of the elegant villa on three levels, with accommodation on each floor and a small attic. The project demonstrates how the plastic articulation of the surfaces delimits the space, preparing itself for a formal research that has its roots in the Roman Baroque, which the architect often regards as an essential legacy. He also makes use of suggestions from the Secessions and Art Deco. In line with the trends of Baroque architecture, Portoghesi places the systematic use of the curved line on the modeling of the internal space through the inflection of the walls.

The curvature of the perimeter walls, which alternate between concave and convex, formally characterizes the composition. The exterior is covered with vertical majolica bands, differentiated by colors that recall natural elements; the balcony parapets are instead made of metal organ pipes. Inside, the walls are painted with colored bands that run horizontally, while a series of concentric cylinders originating from three different sets of poles define the ceilings of the living room. The transition between external and internal space identifies a type of opening called "dialectical window", the result of different contrasts of inflected walls. The inflected wall, obtained through a curved surface that varies according to the position of the internal and external spaces, creates a perspective that allows you to model the space as if it were plastic. The technique that Portoghesi uses to bend the wall allows him to obtain a spatial extension, so much so that he defines the wall inflected as "the key element of the solution". The combination of two curved walls is the result of the combination that arises from the relationship of architecture with nature and baroque plasticity, where the curved line becomes the right aesthetic compromise between nature, local culture and the artifact with its needs functional. The architectural experimentation invests the organic chromatism in which the Papanice house is wrapped. Portoghesi also engages in interior design, with furniture elements based on the same design grammar as the building.


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