House on House extension - Raimondo Guidacci
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House on House extension

Raimondo Guidacci

Edited By Francesco Pagliari - 16 June 2015

Trofarello is a low-density suburb of Turin characterised by relatively small traditional buildings, each with their own little plot of land. The extension to this house certainly introduced new elements, especially to overcome the zoning regulations and increase the size of the roof and to produce a highly expressive, practical building. The roof extension has a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The extension has a fir pillar and beam structure and occupies only a section of the roof, surrounded by two terraces on the sides, each protected by a largely transparent, light see-through metal railing. The defining visual aspect of the addition is the use of Rheinzink panels with vertical and oblique ribs, marking the structure out from the surrounds. Local zoning rules regulated, for example, the distance from the road and the adjacent buildings (a distance that has to include the encumbrance of the external wall insulation), effectively becoming the key determiners for the volumes of the roof extension. The borders might have largely been dictated by law, but the architectural approach is evident in the placement of the volumes where a parallelepiped is anchored to the flat roof and merges with a prism that mimics, precisely through its placement, the sloping eaves of the original roof. The sidewalls have no windows and access to the side terraces is via doors on opposite sides cut into the zinc-titanium cladding, breaking the ribbed pattern. The front and rear sides have horizontal bands of windows, although these are at different heights on the opposing sides, creating a complex natural light dynamic as the sun's rays shine in from different angles.
The uniqueness of the structures lies both in its practicality and the layout, with clear lines and cladding.  The volumes form a striking, elegant composition that is an innovative solution to merging a traditional structure with a contemporary addition. The architectural skill lies in matching the differences between simplicity and complexity to allow the organic, sequential development of a house on top of a house.

Francesco Pagliari

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