[ENG] Construction 60: Paving of the loggia (part 1)

29/07/15 | ۩ |

The main loggia, as long as the warehouse on the ground floor, is the widest area I'm going to pave at this level of the Domus. This big square, overlooking the street through the front pointed arch, represents an essential part of the palace. Commercial activity takes place here, but it is also a place where family can gather together. In genoese medieval houses, this was often the only open space (inner courtyards became a common element only in later centuries), so the residents used to celebrate here family events or make parties, enjoying the position to display their wealth to the community.

My earliest studies for the pavement set up a subdivision of the area in 4 identical squares, following the wall grid of the basement. The whole ground would be made of slate sheets arranged along diagonal rows around a central cross (initially made with white marble). The purpose of this test, made without cutting the stone, was to visualize the result.

I realize this way that I still can improve the composition. Covering the pavement with a uniform pattern would help to highlight even more its wide size. 
Another possibility could be the placing of sheets with different sizes. It's a common way to pave external areas, but maybe it's not so refined for the main loggia of an aristocratic palace.
Now I focus on a two-coloured design, where the tiles are placed following an accurate and repetitive pattern.
Two specific pavements come to my mind: the first example alternates dark octagonal tiles to white squared smaller tiles. Very common to see in the palaces of the old town, but not really medieval (in the picture below, the terrace of the Palazzo Rosso - 1671).


The second pattern, also made of black and white stone, has been photographed by me inside the Castello D'Albertis, eccentric building from the nineteenth-century which, although not a real medieval castle, displays a mix of gothic elements according to the revival taste of that period.


This last example seems more adecuate to pave the loggia. As usual, I make a small test cutting and assembling stones.
The main material is obviously slate for the dark parts, while the little squares are filled up with white ceramic tiles (already used for the main entrance).

In this circumstance I try to develop a new way to cut slate which allowed me to get many pieces in less time, but I give up after a few attempts with my Dremel tool and the ruler. Slate is too thin and frail and it breaks before the cutting has finished.
So I need to cut all the tiles manually, wasting a big amount of time but reaching a clearer shape.
Here is the first assembling test:


And a pencil sketch of the loggia made before the construction start:






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