Style C.P. Company and the Casa Albero, the next landscape

C.P. Company and the Casa Albero, the next landscape

Andrea Tuzio

A real dialogue with the urban scenario, the one undertaken by C.P. Company with the Fall/Winter 020 collection.

NEXT LANDSCAPE, the concept around which the company founded by Massimo Osti and headed by his son Lorenzo has developed the FW020, refers to a general idea developed by designer Paul Harvey and wants to represent an image of hope for a future urban environment, where nature is given the space to grow back in a vital and spontaneous way among the architectural forms that characterize our cities.

Starting directly from the images of the city of Chernobyl, abandoned after the nuclear disaster of 1986 and now invaded by vegetation, C.P. Company has created a collection that fits perfectly into this hypothetical new urban landscape in which nature takes back its spaces.

Twenty years after the first release, C.P. proposes again the iconic Urban Protection Metropolis jacket originally designed by Moreno Ferrari when in 1998 he was commissioned by the company to develop a new concept inspired by the new millennium now approaching. The idea developed by Ferrari shaped the men’s clothing landscape in a way that is more relevant than ever.

Continuous growth, constant gentrification, uninterrupted change. A gigantic collective process, always in progress. A city in continuous evolution radically changes the human vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

People need protection, protection does not mean separation but connection.
Humans need Urban Protection.

Urban Protection represents a new form of suggestive dialogue between the equipment and the new urban scenario, a dialogue that is born first between the clothing and the wearer. A garment lives from the experiences of the individual as the individual relates to the world through the functionality of the garment. A dual, fundamental relationship between interior and exterior, garments conceived as structures: the external design refers to the brutalist architectural rigor while the interior conveys the warmth typical of humanity.

To create a new level of connection comes the shooting dedicated to the collection taken in Fregene in a unique location, the Casa Sperimentale, better known as the Casa Albero

Designed and built in the ’60s by Giuseppe Perugini and his wife Uga de Plaisant, both architects, using exclusively reinforced concrete, glass and steel, is an example of brutalist architecture that fits into the natural context in the same way that the FW020 collection of C.P. Company falls into the new urban concept.

To deepen this aspect and to better understand the connection that exists between fashion and architecture, we asked Bianca Felicori, architect, researcher, author and mind behind the Forgotten Architecture project, who was in charge of location scouting:

How did your involvement in the project with C.P. Company begin? 

I am very fond of C.P. Company, my father was a friend of Massimo Osti and this brand has always been a source of pride for Bologna – the city where I was born. I really appreciated the 2019 campaign shot in front of the Casa del Portuale by Aldo Loris Rossi, one of my favorite architects of the Italian organic season. This summer I was contacted by Giovanni Benvenuto, Content Coordinator of C.P. Company, and he told me that the brand had shown a certain interest to shoot the winter campaign in the Casa Albero of Fregene, designed by Giuseppe Perugini in 1968. I know this house very well because it is one of the symbols of my research project Forgotten Architecture, a platform where you can discover modern, national and international architecture, little known and forgotten. I was very enthusiastic and I have immediately contacted the son of Perugini, Raynaldo, now a full-time professor at the University Roma Tre that has become available and from there was born this wonderful collaboration.

What were the initial inputs from which you started scouting and how did you arrive at the choice of the Casa Albero?

They already had in mind to make it here, I have managed the agreement with the current owner of the house, that is precisely Raynaldo Perugini. When I wrote to him to communicate our intentions, he answered immediately with great enthusiasm saying that he knew very well C.P. Company and that he had also different garments of this brand. Perugini has then remembered us that also Karl Lagerfeld, in the first 2000, had snapped here a campaign for Fendi, of which however I have never been able to find news. In the beginning, I was enough worried because of the conditions in which it poured this house until June 2020. From 1995, the year of the death of Giuseppe Perugini, the family has begun to thin out the frequency and the duration of the stays to Fregene, to then limit itself to visit the house only to take care of the restoration of the reinforced concrete, attacked from the atmospheric agents. In the useful twenty years this small jewel set on the sea, unfortunately, has been a victim of vandalisms that have seriously damaged the structure. But then something magical happened.

The house is a rare, perhaps unique example of family self-design.
Can you explain what it consists of?

This is one of the most interesting aspects. Giuseppe Perugini, towards the end of the sixties, buys this land near the Pineta di Fregene together with his wife, Uga De Plaisant, to build their house to the sea. Once grown up and enrolled himself/herself/themselves to the faculty of Architecture, also the son Raynaldo begins to participate in the realization of the house and they come so nicknamed the “3P”.
The Casa Albero is the result of the application of the family’s creativity, is a fantastic architecture, invincible, free from constraints and conditioning. It is an eternal work in progress because it can be modified and modules can be added infinitely. It is called “Casa Albero” because it is designed as a place where you can experience the meaning of life through a direct relationship with the surrounding nature.
Currently, this residential complex consists of three buildings of different types: the house, the “ball” equipped as a detached house, and the “cubes”, three functional cubic volumes interspersed with semi-modules containing the services, bedroom, living room and kitchen in less than 40 square meters.

The house was in a state of semi-abandonment mainly due to vandalism. Can you tell us how the “renovation” process began?

Unfortunately, due to the state of degradation in which it was in, word had spread that this house was abandoned and this is why it was then the victim of vandalism. In 2019 I had written an article about it denouncing the problem, a thing that I know that professor Perugini has much appreciated. During the second virtual reunion with the brand and the architect, it was C.P. Company to propose itself as a sponsor for the restoration works of the building, offer warmly welcomed by Perugini. C.P. has then financed before to snap the campaign, the cleaning and the painting of the external surfaces and the painting of the metallic elements. This is what happens when a fashion house develops a certain sensibility for the architecture.

What does the Casa Albero represent for you, and more generally for contemporary architecture?

Everything? :) Architecture and the idea of thinking about alternative methods to talk about modern and contemporary architecture are the focus of my work. Every day I strive to ensure that there is more and more confluence between the various disciplines, from fashion to architecture, from art to music. For me this campaign is much more than just an advertising project, it is the result of a process of integration for which I strive every day, trying to match my architectural knowledge with the needs of other worlds. This house has become the symbol of a first victory, and with her also the professor Perugini, with whom I have a relationship based on mutual esteem. For this, I am grateful to C.P. and I hope that many brands follow his example.

Written by Andrea Tuzio
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