Casa Visibilio: A home among vineyards against an alpine backdrop
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Casa Visibilio: A home among vineyards against an alpine backdrop

Traditional building craft and cutting-edge technologies combine in this home made with the traditional materials of Alto Adige

MoDus Architects

Casa Visibilio: A home among vineyards against an alpine backdrop
By Editorial Staff -
Barth Innenausbau has participated in the project

Casa Visibilio is a private residence designed by MoDusArchitects on the edge of a small historic town in Italy’s Alto Adige region, a place where tradition is as alive as ever. The landscape here is dotted with fields, vineyards, and apple orchards. It’s a place where nature plays the leading role and humans live according to its rules. Standing on a plateau of land that overlooks the valley below, the house occupies an elongated site that marks the border between the old city and the farmland beyond.

The project perfectly combines local building craft and contemporary technologies. It’s a union of different styles and periods crystalized into a mixture of contrasting textures and traditional vocabularies. Casa Visibilio reinterprets the typical Alto Adige farmhouse, along with its building methods, incorporating two independent units, complete with a cellar and wood-burning stove.

“The sickle, the trellis, Ellsworth Kelly’s abstract reliefs, and other artworks create an eclectic set of references that fuse the farming heritage of the site with more distant contexts. All these elements give life to an interplay of complementary forces generated by the lines and curves that underpin the formal and spatial aspects of the project.” Sandy Attia and Matteo Scagnol, co-founders of MoDusArchitects


Handmade bricks and traditional barns

Casa Visibilio - MoDusArchitects ©Gustav Willeit, courtesy of MoDusArchitects

Casa Visibilio is faced with handmade bricks with a thin, elongated shape and dark, light, and sandy gray tones, recalling the colors and textures of the traditional local barns with their interplay of solids and voids, light and shade. The home faces south and onto a private garden. The architects have created a large window here to optimize sunlight in the summer months, while mitigating its heat with the overhanging curving roof and shading systems.

Steel punctuates the house at various points from inside to out: from the window architraves to the balcony balustrades, from the full-height screens in front of some windows to the water feature and fountain at the entrance and the sculpted handles of the front doors.

>>> Abitazione Promenade, the restyling of a 1930s apartment in Milan.


Casa Visibilio: genius loci and tradition

Casa Visibilio - MoDusArchitects ©Gustav Willeit, courtesy of MoDusArchitects

A perfect blending of genius loci and tradition can be seen in the flooring, which reflects different eras and styles across the three floors – one underground and two above – of the residence. In the basement, square terracotta tiles combine with clay and cocciopesto wall finishes, while at ground level, the light-color of the terrace combines with the fragments of Lasa stone and mother-of-pearl of the fireplace. Sculptural and imposing, the fireplace is the real star of the room, recalling the role of the traditional South Tyrolean stube.

The open-plan kitchen is the fulcrum of the entire residence. Its elm and burnished metal wall contrasts with the chromatic effect of the wood paneling of the double-height living room and of the porphyry island bench. The dining area, which includes a breakfast patio, leads to the bedrooms, office, and home theater. There’s also a padded reading nook, designed by the architects in the full-height area and set into the elm paneling.

The basement, with the second entrance, comprises a garage, the workroom of the shoe designer owner, a small wine cellar, a multipurpose room, and service and storage spaces. The area is naturally lit via the stairwell from the entrance area as well as by light from ceiling openings and windows facing a rock garden. Adjoining an underground walled garden, the workroom is also perfectly lit.

>>> TB Penthouse: an eclectic penthouse for an art collector couple on the outskirts of Bergamo.


Low and high-tech solutions

Casa Visibilio - MoDusArchitects ©Paolo Abate, courtesy of MoDusArchitects

The driving force behind the project was sustainability, which has been achieved by the designers by using locally sourced natural materials, and combining various low- and high-tech solutions with South Tyrolean building traditions. Photovoltaic panels, a geothermal system, radiant floor and ceiling systems for heating and cooling, a mechanically controlled ventilation system, and rainwater collection combine to achieve a high standard of energy efficiency and significantly contribute to the dehumidification of the rooms.

Casa Visibilio has an overall energy efficiency rating of 2 kg CO2/m2a, a value that has earned it the highest level of CasaClima Gold Nature certification, a system based on rewarding the eco-compatibility of the materials and systems used in a building’s construction and its water impact.

>>> Read an extract from the article about the Z-shaped Villa project, published in THE PLAN 147.


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Location: Oltradige, Bolzano, Italy
Completion: 2022
Site Area: 3.076 m2
Bulding Area: 1.090 m2
Client: Private
Architect: MoDusArchitects
Design Team: Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol, Martina Salmaso

Structures: Ing. Rodolfo Senoner
Mechanical and Electrical: P.I. Jochen Cristofoletti
Lighting: Lichtstudio Eisenkeil
Domotics: ProgPlan
Klimahaus: Ing. Giovanni Cutrone, Restartec
Main Contractor: Bernard Bau

Custom Made Furniture and Internal Doors: Barth Innenausbau

Photography by Paolo Abate and Gustav Willeit, courtesy of MoDusArchitects

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