A country house is anchored to the line of the horizon, where the bank of the Tresinaro torrent stands as background and scene of the environmental field. It reinterprets the historical countryside typology space named “porta morta” in contemporary terms, going to define a hollow space that becomes the fulcrum of architecture.
Two side wings help to ground the house in the plot: they slide on each other by a transparent double height passing through which links and connects the spaces of the bedrooms / studio on the first floor through a hanging balcony.
The open space on the ground floor places the kitchen in the south-west corner in continuity with the staircase and the tv room in the north-east corner, leaving the double height living space as the core. On the opposite side the private entrance to the house is linked to the services (garage and dependence) through another hanging jasmine canopy.
The porch as a solar diaphragm and jasmine canopy configure the open-air extension of the living room, while the first-floor rooms extend the house towards the landscape.
However, the building is not a body itself, it extends its character to the landscape by creating four open spaces, which have different characters related to the solar orientation, to the uses of internal spaces and their own new functions. They are conceived as the 4 facades of the building lying on the ground: they constitute a bioclimatic and environmental system to anchor the house within the landscape.
Thus, southwards a panoramic view, towards the stream bank, remains open and free, with creeper ivy as a diaphragm all around the perimeter of the plot. Nothing interposes between the horizon and the living room. The jasmine porch protects and extends the family meeting place outdoor.
Westwards, on the other hand, the extension of the garden configures a series of episodes: the porch, the solarium, the swimming pool, the fruit trees garden and the orchard, as aggregated and woven elements with different natural gradients.
Northwards a sort of zen garden represents an interface towards the neighbourhood and outlines the driveway spaces, moving away the inner parking area from the living spaces and juxtaposing the dependence between the house and the edge of the plot. On the west a series of Morus fruitless trees defines a shady, protected and natural dehors for barbecue.
Eastwards the open space is more traditional with a green hedge like a barrier towards the street and a big grass surface between the house and the main pedestrian entrance.
The bioclimatic nature of architecture allows daylight and solar radiation to penetrate deeply in the building. The sunlight becomes a theme of the interior spaces and of their flexibility.
The walls are composed of thermal Poroton, thermal and acoustic insulation and internal plasterboard panels.
Externally, an unbacked clay plaster finishing conforms and enclose all the walls, proposing a new contemporary use of the clay, as a historical and local design material, through a mixture of different aggregates without any pigment.
The exterior clay envelope guarantees a massive opacity and thermal insulation, while the porches all around become a diaphragm to screen and select the light and to mitigate the climatic conditions.
At the same time, the roof is designed with an innovative system of extruded roof tiles made of clay, cement binder, water and iron oxide, to form a mixture that can reflect direct solar radiation and waterproofing the roof.
All triple-glazed pvc frame windows contain and assemble the thermal break and natural ventilation systems creating a series of overlapping layers, which identify a complex and different sun shading system. For this reason, the architectural and constructive details juxtapose mosquito nets, curtains, sunshades and shutters side by side to completely protect the openings.
The passive sustainable approach is developed through floor radiant cooling and heating system, solar panels and photovoltaics for storing the solar energy. (these are completely integrated in the roof)
The large roof surfaces allow rainwater harvesting, together with both natural and controlled ventilation will guarantee to achieve class A energetic certification.
Founded in Reggio Emilia by Christian Gasparini, NAT OFFICE turns its attention to the relationship between architecture, city and landscape and investigates modular structures, intertwining scales, typologies, spaces for a new identity between place and people: Architecture becomes a medium between Nature and Technology.
The practice extends its approach to different areas: masterplan/landscape, cultural/public, learning/worship, sport/leisure, working/office, temporary/exhibit and living/housing. Participation to design competitions allows experimentation: the office won several architectural competitions in Italy and abroad
NAT Office’ s works received many awards, such us Architizer A+Awards - New York and American Architecture Prize - Los Angeles in 2017 (RABM), Archdaily Boty candidate, Inarcassa and Cicop Award – Firenze in 2018 (HLBH), BigSee Architecture Award - Lubiana, London International Creative Competition – London and DNA Paris Design Award - Paris in 2019 (HHCR).
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