Local traditional buildings of the foothills of Italy’s Abruzzo region - raw earth houses that chromatically blend in to the landscape - provide the inspiration for this artist’s home/studio, which was designed with the brief of combining his workspace with a home for the artist and his family under one roof. At Manoppello, Sergio Sarra wanted his home/studio to be a building that reflected his own multifaceted activities. The building offers a simple interplay of dualities and contrasts: from its twin functions - as a home and a studio - to its rural references and formal purity, as well as the openings and closures of its elevations. The project’s hallmark characteristics are its barn-like shape and the use of traditional materials. The volume is formally pure - a parallelepiped with a sloping roof - and yet it features classic and contemporary cladding. The home is covered in clay slabs, which, divided, are applied to the façade and roof. The surfaces interleave in a continuous manner, setting off an elegant chromatic and material effect that is heightened by the purity and simplicity of the building’s form. The rising elevations appear to be closed-in, with a minimum of openings on the side elevations and a completely blind façade to the south, in contrast to the single large glazed area, which opens out onto the countryside on the north-facing elevation. The way that these openings are arranged is the result of an in-depth study of the outlooks and lighting, catering to the needs of channeling horizontal lighting into the building (ideal for the artist’s work) while at the same time framing evocative views out over the landscape. The same compositional simplicity carries through to the floor plan: the spaces are organized in a tripartite division along a rectangular floor plan. Two full-height areas at either end host the studio at one end and the residence’s living room at the other. In the middle, a two-floor block houses rooms for services, the kitchen, a study and a library. A wooden spiral staircase accesses the upper level, which hosts three bedrooms and an additional bathroom. This block functionally and metaphorically splits up the space, creating a filter between the professional work zone and the personal area that the artist shares with his family. This part of the building, which is the only one on two levels, is made out of a square-section, balloon-framed structure, using a building technique that combines a very lightweight, slender load-bearing structure with reduced-section wooden pillars and planks set at close intervals. Multilayer poplar panels provide the infill. Outside, the garden affords the greatest possible visibility to the building, which occupies a dominant position atop a small hillock. The home flows towards the exterior, continuity provided by the full-height glazing and unbroken industrial cement flooring that leads to an overhang with a swimming pool. This delicate, organic new addition has no need to be hidden by vegetation: it adds value to the landscape in all of its visibility.