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Now a Live-In Laser Show, this Apartment Dates Back to 1663

Though it looks like something out of sci-fi, this colorfully illuminated Turin apartment is one of 36 in a building that was built in the 17th century. These delightfully anachronistic crossovers are the result of a two-pronged renovation by Italian firm Building, which started out by preserving the the ornate baroque architecture on the lobby and first floor, as well as on the exterior, giving little indication of the craziness to come. Then came the LEDs: running around the length of the glass-enclosed kitchen spaces, among the cobblestones in the refurbished courtyard, wrapped around the edges of the new rooftop terrace, even in the showers, all "computer-controlled" to unite the place "into one expressive picture." Naturally, such a drastic do-over came with a name change, from Palazzo Valperga Galleani to The Number 6.

Building claims that each unit follows a layout determined by its original design, and augmented, rather than drastically changed, by things like inserted steel staircases and glass panels. Some original features of the building were left exposed, like the wooden rafters, though with the new white gypsum board walls, it's hard to really get a feel for what the units used to look like. Still, they look pretty dashing now, with new openings in the timber roof that bring in more natural light and turn the attic into a retrofitted loft space. For a closer look, head over to URDesign.

· The Number 6: Refurbishment of Palazzo Valperga Galleani in Turin [URDesign via NOTCOT]