The complex renovation of a ’60s home
It’s never a simple matter to renovate a building, especially if it was built during the post-war period, and especially if the client wants to create dialogue with the setting. Various approaches to this challenge were available to monovolume architecture + design in its transformation of Villa EB from a single-family home built in the ’60s to a two-family residence. Located along the well-known Strada del Vino (Wine Trail) in the province of Bolzano, the home is set in hilly land, surrounded by vineyards, groves of trees, and more recently built private villas. In the 1950s and ’60s, many of Bolzano’s residents moved from the city center to these hills for the peace and quiet, and the remarkable views of the surrounding mountains.
Although offering a high standard of living comfort and constructed using what were quality materials and finishes at the time, the original residence reflected all the limitations of the design approaches of the day, such as low ceilings and very few window openings, with the ratio of glass surfaces to solid walls extremely low, and, therefore, limited views of the surrounding countryside.
The architects worked with the new owners to achieve their vision of incorporating the house into the surrounding spaces, including the garden and nearby woods, and, in particular, into the landscape, without sacrificing a modern design and large windows. There are large sliding glass doors on both floors, providing access to outside from almost every corner of the house – on the first floor, to a covered terrace, and, on the ground floor, to the garden, which surrounds the home and its infinity pool, overlooking the valley between Bolzano and Merano. Inside, a metal and wood spiral staircase connects the two levels and is surmounted by a large oval skylight, a feature of the view from above the house that creates a symbiotic relationship of light and materials.
This kind of detail forms the basis of the project, which includes many spatial changes, such as raising the net height of each floor, and remodeling partition walls in the ground floor living area to create large living spaces, but without losing the relationship of form and function between the living spaces, kitchen, and office. This is echoed in the choice of exterior building materials, including the monk-and-nun roof tiling (with arched tiles, the upper “monk” tile interlocking with the lower “nun” tile), natural stone walls, exposed wood cladding, and sheet metal architectural elements in earthy brown tones.
Site area: 285 m2
Project by: monovolume architecture + design
Year: august 2020
Rendering&3Dmodel credits: ©monovolume architecture + design
Photo credits: ©Giovanni De Sandre, courtesy of monovolume architecture + design