Casa Farace is in Favara, a town in the hinterland of the Sicilian province of Agrigento, not far from the capital. As an example of contemporary architecture within an established urban setting, the project involved important architectural themes, both in general and in the details. In its setting, it acts as a kind of intermediary between the town’s historic center and its more recent built environment, whose main value is one of building “aggregation,” on a street network that reflects the urban expansion of Favara in the 20th century.
The project had to address a number of issues relating to the most recently built constructions. These arose from both their state of maintenance – in many cases, less than optimal – and their very nature, with none of them exhibiting any particular architectural value. Lillo Giglia’s design is marked by a particular construction method and practice, the hallmark of which is its precision and awareness that the job of replacing a building demands attention to the urban landscape and the modern elements that create quality living spaces, and doing this through a rational approach and a carefully measured expressivity, while enhancing the interactions between the new and old.
The project establishes a relationship with the adjoining buildings, its addition to the existing continuous street frontage becoming a defining aspect. It also establishes a relationship with the larger scale, the design stemming from an analysis of the entire urban fabric of the town, its historical strengths, and the surrounding horizon, which is marked by historic buildings, slightly hilly contours, and reflections of the Sicilian sunlight. In some respects, the underlying goal of the project – that is, to create quality contemporary architecture – is actually highlighted by Favara’s history from this century. The town has become a symbol of how enlightened artistic, cultural, and architectural contributions can bring about positive change and counteract urban decay. And Favara has been transformed from a place marked by obvious neglect to a place with burgeoning opportunities for vitality and new visions. The turning point was the advent of the Farm Cultural Park. This association, of which Lillo Giglia is a founding member, was set up by Andrea Bartoli and Florinda Saieva specifically to breathe new life into the town.
The Casa Farace project is a reflection on light that initiates a dialogue with the town and its perspectives. Set into the continuous street frontage, the building recasts a series of relationships. Solid white, the main façade overlooks the street. It’s distinguished by the expressive force of its second-level balcony, which projects out obliquely to the line of the facade and stretches upwards, pierced by openings of different sizes in the area corresponding to the rooftop solarium. The interior elevation is a coherent marriage of its balcony and window openings, which define the building’s verticality. The project reformulated the functional sequence of the floors, combining rationally organized interior spaces with interesting views, in part created by raising one of the floors, which was permitted under local regulations.
The floor at street level is mainly occupied by the garage but also forms an intersection between the basement and garden. The bedrooms are on the next floor up, with the main bedroom designed as an angled cell that faces onto the garden at basement level. Two smaller bedrooms complete the floor. The top level is an open space with the living room and combined dining room/kitchen space. Here your eyes are drawn along a plain between the two balconies, one of which overlooks the street and the other the garden, bringing together the experience of the two views into one. A rooftop solarium combines sweeping views, privacy, and quality living, dialoguing with the light and sky in the same way as the rest of the building.
The home features quality materials, with its spaces differentiated by their contrasting materiality (such as on the stairway, where a feeling of lightness is created), patches of luminosity, flashes of natural light, and artificial light on the stairs.
Project Name : Farace House
Office Name : Lillo Giglia Architect
Completion Year : 2020
Gross Built Area mq : 200 mq
Project Location : Favara _AG_Sicily
Program : Residential house
Client: Pietro Favara
Lead Architects : Lillo Giglia
Structural Engineer: Pierluigi Patti
Contractor Costruction company: Lillo Crapanzano
Photo Credits : Salvatore Giglia and Lillo Giglia
Video link : https://www.facebook.com/LilloGigliaArchitetti/videos/2924880581134658
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