This detached, single-family home in the hills near Turin was a true design challenge as a result of restrictions on resources, the need to cater to the client’s desires (two young people wanting to live in their “own new home” with elegance and simplicity), and the brief of creating a home that has many significant qualities, all within a relatively contained volume. Quality was required for the backdrop of evocative visuals towards the village and the pleasing hillside landscape; quality to envisage the connections and extensions between internal and external spaces, including room-adjacent ad hoc spaces designed to extend the building’s living options; quality to design a home fitted to achieve significant systems efficiencies, including thermal insulation, equipment for electricity generation via photovoltaic panels, installation-ready for advanced heating, cooling and ventilation systems. The project caters to a brief for highly-inhabitable space, in a design that optimally exploits the elements and space arrangement, obverting the residence’s relatively-contained dimensions. Spanning two levels, the lower level backs onto the land, incorporating the hilly slope and offering independent access to both levels. The sleeping area is on the lower floor, with two bedrooms and a centrally-located bathroom; the side that abuts onto the land houses a room for installations and the basement. One important factor was to prolong the main bedroom towards the outside through an open space (embraced by the sloping ground and marked, indeed almost protected, by the containing walls adjacent to the ground). This space connects directly with the bedroom, increasing available living space during clement weather and – its priority use – channeling light into the room. The communicating stairway to the upper level is elegant and slender, a metal structure with wooden steps and a glazed balustrade positioned adjacent to the internal wall on the sloping ground side; space under the stairs is used for cupboards and closed shelving, behind wooden doors. The upper level is an example of effective and elegant design. The living area offers continuity between the kitchen space and the dining/conversation area. The second access route to the house enters here, providing a direct path into the living space and an immediate sense of orientation in the landscape through the large glazed window on the wall opposite the entrance. Along the side that emerges from the ground – the sloping terrain ensures that the volume and elevation are perceived as belonging to a single-floor building – is an area that, when the season allows, is ideal for al fresco relational life. The surrounding landscape is enhanced by the fact that the building may be perceived as a single-floor construction, introducing the idea of a highly attractive perspective that may be fully gauged from the upper level living area. This level has a vista out over the landscape through large windows in which the dominant element is the combination of visuals and spaces inside the residence in a variety of forms: one large window runs flush along the façade of the room served by the entrance; kitchen space runs back from the elevation with a large glazed area overlooking the empty space of the atrium; an open and covered space extends the living area via a loggia that increases the living area’s livability. The design approach to this single-family home deploys solutions to significant architectural challenges, experimenting to increase livability through the rigor of a composition based on apparently simple elements that connote clarity, while consistently remaining functional to seeking the highest quality integration of living into the landscape.
Location: Reano (Torino Province)
Gross Floor Area: 165 m2
Cost of Construction: 209,000 Euros
Contractor: T.D. Costruzioni
Structural: Sergio Vighetto
Technical Systems: Matteo Rosa Sentinella
PVC Doors and Windows: Gealan
Bricks: Fornace Pilon
Insulation Panels: Isotec
Floor Heating: Loex
Photovoltaic Panels: Hyunday
Cellular Glass: Misapor
Insulation System: Ivas
Photography: © Alessio Gioana
Archisbang seeks unconventional spatiality in its designs for brand new buildings and redevelopment, ever combining conceptual power with executive concreteness. Archisbang relies on a team of specialists not just to create its architectural designs but to analyze demand, study economic feasibility and develop communications strategies. The company’s ethos is to support its customers by building architecture vital for the local area, embracing hospitality, culture, education and innovation, at all times characterized by a propensity for cross-pollinating different functions. The story began in Turin in 2008, when the practice unveiled its experimental temporary Nylon 6 structure, made out of plastic tubes. Between 2009 and 2016, Archisbang won a number of private commissions and earned many mentions in the trade press. In 2011, Villa Nesi in Ivrea, the practice’s redevelopment and extension of a mixed-function building, won the “La Ceramica e il Progetto” competition promoted by CERSAIE of Bologna. In 2013, the practice exhibited at the Light Sense exhibition at the Zhou B. Art Center di Chicago (Illinois - USA) with its work 2FACES, a unique, experimental 3D representation technique in which images change through the use of light and shadow. The practice’s Relativiteit project for a corporate headquarters for the Chemsafe s.r.l. company in Parella (Turin) commenced in 2014 and was completed in November 2015. In 2017, in a consortium with Area Progetti, the company won the Torino fa scuola competition to refurbish the Giovanni Pascoli school, in what is a nationwide pilot project combining architectural principles with leading-edge teaching concepts. In June 2018, the partnership won its first competition award for a middle-school construction project, the Enrico Panzacchi in Ozzano dell’Emilia (Bologna).
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