The brief came from a mountain-lover bent on making a holiday home for his family at Selva di Cadore. An old tabià was to be converted, that typical feature of mountain architecture, part byre, part hayloft, a wooden structure standing on a stone base.
The first phase of planning entailed taking careful stock of the wooden structure and joints in order to be able to dismantle the building and put it properly back together again. One objective was to keep as much original material as possible, so many beams and boards were restored and cleaned, while others were replaced by recycling discarded timber which kept the authentic colour and material.
Some small architectural accretions were eliminated, and a new exposed steel girder structure was added; painted black, this was made to fit the existing dimensions and peculiarities of the tabià, reinforcing the original wooden frame. The architects chose to make a prominent indoor feature of the steel bearing structure. Outside, to keep the colours and materials uniform, wherever the steel poked out it was clad in recycled timber duly hollowed out.
Indoors, the choice of materials combines tradition and the present day. For the structural parts larch and deal were used; infill sections are of dolomite stone, black painted steel and rough white render. Each room in the house is distinguished by its combination of materials, and the whole hangs together as an organic unity. The look and textural density of the materials imparts a sense of comfort and a lived-in feel.
The basic assumption of the project was that traditional tabià building techniques should be preserved: the wood goes on ageing naturally; as time passes and exposure to the weather varies, it gains a natural protection and differences of colour – grey shades on the northern side, reddish elsewhere.
Energy-wise, the house is self-sufficient. A photovoltaic system supplies energy for heating and lighting. The panels are set snugly into the roof which is of larch shingles. The underfloor heating runs on electricity, which means it can be classified as a ‘zero-emissions’ building, there being no direct emissions of CO2 from heating based on combustion.
Location: Selva di Cadore, Belluno
Gross Floor Area: 220 m2
Architects: EXiT architetti associati – Francesco Loschi, Giuseppe Pagano, Paolo Panetto Works Management: Francesco Loschi
Main Contractors: CNC di Crepaz Raffaele e C., FD falegnameria
Structural: Alberto Soligo
Plant: Mauro Benozzi
Antique Wood Flooring: Antico è
Doors and Windows: Aldena
Solar Panels: I.C.iT
Dolomite Stone: Sevis
Photo by: © Teresa Cos
EXiT Architetti Associati
EXiT Architetti Associati, an architecture studio based in Treviso, was established by architects Francis Loschi (born in 1977 in Treviso), Giuseppe Pagano (1977, Brescia) and Paul Panetta (1977, Treviso). It focuses on architectural and urban design, interior and landscape architecture, combining the professional and design experience of the three partners in Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Since 2004, EXIT has participated in a number of international competitions. It won first prize at the international workshop QUAP 2006 - Qualità Urbanisitca delle Aree Produttive, organized by the Province of Treviso and Unindustria Treviso, while in 2008 it won third prize in a competition for the restoration of a polygonal bastion of the castle in the city of Treviso.
Since 2009 it has been a member of the ANAB (Associazione Nazionale Architettura Bioecologica).
In 2010 it was selected by GiARCH (Coordinamento Nazionale dei Giovani Architetti Italiani) for inclusion in the publication Progetti di giovani architetti italiani (Projects by young Italian architects). In September 2010, projects by the studio were displayed at the exhibition of young Italian architects Ventisettetrentasette in the Italian Pavilion at the Shanghai EXPO 2010.
In November 2010 it won the Residential and Social Housing category in the City of Oderzo Architecture Prize for its restoration of a traditional farm building in Selva di Cadore, and it was a finalist in the Refurbishment category of the ‘Archdaily Building of the Year 2010’ award. In 2011 it won the Barbara Capocchin award in the Provincial category. Projects by EDiT have been featured in respected Italian and international journals, including Wallpaper *, Mark, C3, A10, AND, Domusweb, Il giornale dell’architettura and L’Arca.