Corner House by Raimondo Guidacci | THE PLAN
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Corner House

Raimondo Guidacci

Corner House by Raimondo Guidacci | THE PLAN
By Francesco Pagliari -

This project by Raimondo Guidacci is located in San Severo, an inland town in the southern Italian region of Puglia. The design turns an old storage facility into a family home and, in doing so, forces us to reflect architecturally on issues such as substitutions, corner houses and integrating a building into the historical fabric of a town. Most of the buildings in the old heart of San Severo are two and three-floor brick constructions, often painted white in the restrained, rational Mediterranean tradition, with flat or slightly pitched tiled roofs. In many cases, the point at which the walls come into contact with the ground is emphasized through a stone slab cladding or perhaps a darker hue of paint than the rest of the façade. The presence of taller buildings is generally an indication of more recent construction work.
The design for this “corner house” starts from a clear understanding of the context in which it is located, but then develops in a way that makes the building clearly recognizable through the intelligent use of composition and proportions. The house has a basement garage and cellar, a mezzanine level with a kitchen/dining area that is separated from the living room by the staircase leading to the upper bedroom floors. The top floor then opens onto an expansive terrace.
Ensuring sufficient privacy was a critical consideration, so the design looks inwards, turning the internal patio backing onto the façade on Via Colombo (the section with the entrance) into a fundamental element. This patio has a wooden floor and extends the kitchen/dining space on the mezzanine level, but notably it is protected by a solid, privacy-ensuring façade wall right up to the first true floor, where a square gap opens up. Viewed from the outside, this gap is one of the very few breaks in the main elevation, with the others being the metal entrance door and the stone step that facilitates access to the entrance level, which is characterized internally by an elegant staircase. Despite being so enclosed, the patio receives plenty of light from above, where it is open, and through square gap mentioned above, adding to the dynamic relationship with the kitchen area. 
Outside, a base of elegant stone clads the façades, compensating for the small differences in height. On the Via Balbo side, the elevation is more complex than the main façade as it has a lower section covered with anodized aluminum sheets, bringing a contemporary touch and extension to the local building tradition of marking the meeting point between the wall and the ground. This usage of metal is also very practical as it integrates the garage doors and spaces for the utilities meters into the façade, but in doing so turns functionality into a compositional element. On this façade, the central section is framed by the white paint of the walls, with two windows that provide light for the mezzanine living area and two further windows for the upper floor bedrooms, which also have balconies with opaque metal-sheet parapets. The appearance of this elevation is thus defined by both the use of materials - paint and aluminum sheets - and the placement of elements, with the base extending horizontally and the window section, vertically. The effect, especially in how light is reflected, is remarkably pictorial and helps forge the unique identity of this building. 
Finally, the corner of the house almost becomes a negation of the physicality and geometric development of the meeting of the two walls as the corner is not defined by the touching of the walls, but by the contrast that separates them. As one looks up, the corner becomes virtual as a gap emerges between the walls in a deliberate experimentation with the view, creating a cross-section of the materials and a slither of view in which, unexpectedly, the sky peeps through. 


Location: San Severo, Foggia
Completion Date: 2019
Site Area: 80 m2
Building Area: 80 m2
Volume: 500 m3
Architect and Art Director: Raimondo Guidacci
Main Contractors: D’Aries Antonio, Minicucci Luigi

Structural Consultant: Vitaliano D’Amico

Sanitary Ware: Duravit

Photography: © Beppe Giardino, courtesy of Raimondo Guidacci

Raimondo Guidacci 
Raimondo Guidacci (Foggia, 1968) graduated in architecture from the IUAV, and he graduated from the Benedetto Marcello Music Conservatory in Venice. Guidacci opened his practice in Turin, in 1998, working between Apulia and Piedmont. He worked with Emanuele Levi Montalcini and Guido Martinero at the Laboratori di Progettazione Architettonica, part of the Faculty of Architecture at the Turin Polytechnic (1995-2005). He began lecturing there as a Contract Professor in the 2017-2018 academic year. A number of his works have been published in the trade press and been selected for architectural awards, exhibitions and group shows. These publications include: Almanacchi di Casabella 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008; a book curated by Marco Mulazzani, Architetti Italiani, le nuove generazioni (Electa, 2006); and magazines such as Abitare, Costruire, D’Architettura, THE PLAN, C3, and Lotus International.

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