Villa on Lake Orta, Omegna
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Villa on Lake Orta, Omegna

Fabrizio Bianchetti

Villa on Lake Orta, Omegna
By Francesco Pagliari -
The view of Lake Orta (Verbania-Cusio-Ossola province) is the focal point of the entire project for this villa sited on a steep slope. The design centres on the delicate development of the glazed lake-facing front, clearly and harmoniously integrating the building into the slope. The result is perspectives and volumes that express an architectural sensitivity combining linear shapes with the effects created by linking different building elements. The villa uses several volumes to adapt to the morphology of the land, playing on the horizontal and vertical intersections. On the northern side, a vertical section of the building nestles into the ground, providing a sort of anchorage for the villa. This compact limit, framed by well-defined vertical partitions, is decorated in the lower section by a shell of wooden beams. The main living spaces all originate from this vertical element. There is also the horizontal development of the three levels, with the villa stretching along the western side (the side with the largest lakeside extension) and the southern one, to provide sun and light. The glazed walls flood the interiors with light, frame the lake between the ceiling and structural support elements and, through their transparency, link the open-plan living room and the lake landscape.
The focus on daily components helps to bring visual and other elements "into" the villa, thus making it almost possible to feel the connection between the villa and the landscape, with the constant exchange between the interior and exterior. The solid, well-ground nature of the structure somewhat disappears in the transparent, bright horizontal volume.
The villa consists of aggregations, small distinctions and tiny differences. The large open space for the living room on the first floor has two glazed walls. It is surrounded by a balcony paved with stoneware tiles and protected by a cement and brick ceiling that juts out to provide the necessary shade for the glazed walls. On the upper floor, the roof terrace "withdraws" into the rest of that storey, offering a separate, meditative space. This south-west facing section, free of walls, is connected to the geometrical pattern of the light, painted metal frame located there. The terrace floor has a skylight to allow more natural light to reach the middle floor. This hole is surrounded by the lawn that borders the terrace. The result is further duality, as the internal space links to the green surface, a flat area that emulates natural land and creates a touch of distance from the lake landscape. The effect is to create a room that offers an alternative to the living experience enjoyed in the middle floor living room. The different colours add to the transition between the varying volumes and spaces. The earthy tones of the lowest floor - mainly matt - stand out against the dry wall of the terracing and the red-brownish hues of the vertical volumes and the light colours of the wall next to the glazing. Finally, the aluminium windows are light blue.

Francesco Pagliari

Location: Omegna, Verbania
Client: Private
Completion: 2011
Gross Floor Area: 412 m2
Architects: Fabrizio Bianchetti
Collaborators: Fabio Langhi
Contractor: Gherardini

Exterior Door and Window Frames: Finstral
Security Doors: Blindato Effepi
Handles: Ghidini
Exterior Sun Shading: Griessere
Interior Doors: Ferrero Legno
Parquet: Listone Giordano

Photo by: © Pier Maulini

Fabrizio Bianchetti architetto 
Bianchetti graduated in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic. His work centres on industrial design, architecture, urban design, restoring the original colours of historic buildings, and the development of new building envelope technologies.
In the architectural field, he has worked for both public and private clients, his designs spanning schools to nursing homes, spa centres, and museum and exhibition installations. He has gained extensive experience in the areas of urban design and colour restoration through implementing colour plans in over 40 locations.
His awards include the ANPEL 1993, Riabita 2003, Vele d'Oro Expocon 2004, and Marchio di Qualità DfA 2012 prizes. Bianchetti's designs have also featured in various competitions and reviews (including Milan's XVI Triennale, Premio Casa Idea Design Roma, the ADI Tecnhotel Genova prize, and the 19th Ljubljana and Piemonte Torino Design biennial) and been exhibited at the Design Council in London, the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and at MOCA in Los Angeles. He has written numerous publications and essays on architecture. Between 1987 and 2011, he was editor of international architecture magazine Frames.

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