Located at south of Switzerland, Lugano sits on the border to Italy sharing a common language, climate, geography and culture. A thin strip of land neighboring the highway was the location of Villa Romantica a whimsical a neo-classical mansion which was previously demolished.
The housing project asked to be developed on the foundations of a discarded project. The challenge was to introduce a new language with the mathematical rules of an already-constructed base, and by retracing memories of a building that is long gone.
Studying material and volumetric qualities of the Villa Romantica and mimicking its tri-parted and symmetric volumes, new functions were introduced on the ground and top floors, breaking the symmetry and deforming the mass with a contemporary attitude. The building houses 21 residences on 4 floors, with a restaurant and multi-purpose hall that connects with the promenade along the lake. The floor plans are flexible and open to easily transform the building program from residential units to a fully-functioning apart-hotel, which in turn, was reflected on the façades as an undisclosed play of variation. The exterior materials nod the neighboring town of Melide with the use of local stucco and wooden elements in harmony with the shutters.