Greenery to give movement and rhythm to architecture

Interview with Isabella Stama of Studio IS

In the world of architecture, the integration of greenery is becoming increasingly crucial, not only for aesthetic purposes but also for the well-being of building occupants. We had the pleasure of interviewing Isabella Stama, co-founder of Studio IS, an architectural firm that places greenery at the center of its design approach. Isabella shared with us how Studio IS has transformed existing buildings into green spaces and the impact of their work on the community.

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Isabella, let's start with Studio IS. What does your studio specialize in?

Well, my professional journey began in 2006 at a very prestigious studio in Bari. Over time, I became a partner of one of the two owners, who was also my mentor, architect Dario Morelli. In 2018-2019, Studio IS was born, and it includes our collaborator, Giovanni Giovannelli.

What do you focus on at Studio IS?

We specialize in comprehensive architectural design, from large-scale projects like urban regeneration to smaller ones, such as buildings, single-family homes, interior design, and even individual furnishings.

Could you tell us about some of the projects you're working on or have worked on at ArchiNature?

Sure, I'd like to briefly share three projects of different scales, each with a significant amount of greenery integrated into them.

  1. An old warehouse on a prominent street in Bari, Via Amendola,
  2. Palazzo Melo in the historic Murat district of Bari,
  3. A single-family villa, Villa C, in the Carrassi neighborhood.

What about the first project?

The first project involves the regeneration of an old warehouse on a major street in Bari, Via Amendola, with a total volume of 100,000 cubic meters, of which we've only utilized 68 cubic meters because our goal was to incorporate greenery into the built environment. It's a C-shaped building with a lower central structure, where we've created a rooftop garden. This way, those looking out from their balconies see a lush garden instead of a barren pavement.

What about the second project?

The second project is equally fascinating. It involves Palazzo Melo in the Murat district of Bari, an area with limited green space. So, what did we do there? It was the right decision to introduce vertical greenery, especially because it was a 1960s building without balconies or terraces.

We designed them in a staggered fashion to accommodate linear greenery with linear planters leading to slightly larger basins. This completely transformed the façade of the entire building. In this project, greenery isn't just decorative; it's an essential component and a real highlight, providing pleasure not only to the residents but also to passersby.

And the third project?

The third project is a single-family villa, Villa C, in the Carrassi neighborhood. When we got involved, it was just a rectangular block, also lacking balconies and terraces. The first thing I said when they called us was that "the house must blend seamlessly with this beautiful outdoor space." So, we incorporated external views with abundant greenery.

This project truly embodies our approach: integrate greenery at all costs, not only for personal enjoyment but also for the community's benefit.

Do you handle the greenery internally, or do you collaborate with external experts?

We work with external consultants. However, I really enjoy studying it: understanding different plant species, knowing which ones need sun, which ones need wind, and so on. I think it's important, as in the case of Palazzo Via Mielo, to provide different seasonal shades to the building, adding movement and rhythm to the architecture itself.

Seasons, rhythm, you used some key words. Do you have a keyword that defines Studio IS?

Yes, synergy, I really like it, and we use it a lot. My colleague, Dario Morelli, and I work in synergy not only with each other but also with external collaborators. We especially like being in tune with our clients.

Studio IS is demonstrating that green architecture isn't just an aesthetic trend but a design philosophy that can improve people's quality of life and the surrounding environment. Thanks to Isabella Stama for showing us how greenery can become an integral part of modern architecture, creating healthier and more sustainable spaces for everyone.

Interview conducted by Giorgio Tartaro

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