This house designed by Cesare Sala lies on the eastern shore of Lake Como, right near the old heart of the small lakeside village of Lierna. It was built by partially pulling down a 1960s building and then rebuilding. The surrounding architecture is the eclectic mix typical of many Italian towns, marked by periods of growth and rebuilding in which quality was not always the defining feature.
The designer decided to return to a rationalist style, drawing on a movement that once had quite a profound effect on the Como area. His design became about removing unnecessary aspects to produce simple, straight lines that merged dynamically into the built and natural landscape.
The house is almost literally washed by the lake, making excellent use of the visual appeal this brings. The front facing onto the lake is almost entirely glazed, while the façade that flanks the main road and the mountain is closed. It is an interesting combination of openness and closure for a building that foregrounds integration into the landscape and the interior-exterior dynamics. The loggias that define the exterior are an extension of the interior spaces, filtering the outdoors without blocking the view as the parapets are made of an exceptionally clear glass.
In such a creation, the sunscreens became fundamental and this is where Thema came in, providing the door and window fittings, the blinds and the parapets. The rotatable slat blinds that can be completely drawn into the ceiling allow the ideal amount of sunlight onto the loggias and thus into the rooms.
For the lake front, Schüco ASS70.HI aluminium sliding doors were chosen to make the view as open as possible, while for the sides, Schüco AWS 75.SI hinged windows were selected, with TipTronic automation. On the road side, the small front door was a custom design in which Thema had input. It was made with laser-cut panels to conceal the doorframe.
Overall, careful decisions about dimensions, the choice of materials, the use of suggestions from the surrounding landscape and the combination of architecture and technology are the cornerstones for creating this building that integrates seamlessly into the area and adds to it.