Private House - Enrico Iascone
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Private House

Enrico Iascone

Edited By Francesco Pagliari - 2 April 2012
This two-family building is located in an extensive, 1960s residential spill-over area outside Sassuolo, Modena’s ceramic manufacturing heartland. It stands amid other detached or two-family houses surrounded by small gardens on a plot once occupied by a detached house, now demolished. The high-end design by Enrico Iascone and Carlotta Menarini used prefabricated wooden elements for the aboveground storeys on a concrete underground level. The thermal insulation and humidity control afforded went a long way to obtaining class A energy certification. Choosing joint-mounted prefabricated wooden elements provided the advantages of on-site safety and assembly accuracy that cut overall worksite time considerably. The articulated ground plan in the shape of two opposing “L” shapes presents an uncompromising geometry of sharp angles and clear-cut forms. The two parallel structures that result, some of whose segments are virtually specular, create secluded outdoor areas for both residences. Outdoor paving in varying size wooden slats extends the living and dining areas onto the exterior. Refined spatial distribution, studied orientation and consequent interior luminosity give the homes true villa status. Privacy, ample daylighting and subtle lighting effects are achieved by the adroit use of opposites: largely windowless elevations and glazed frontages. The whole architecture is a play on opposites: a large, apparently monolithic volume whose more secluded sides have different-size glazed lights giving glimpses into deep interiors and providing views onto the outside. On the north side, the house presents a compact front, the only opening - beyond a ground level parking area - the entrance to the more recessed of the two dwelling units. As well as containing the entrance to the other house, the west side of both houses focuses the ingress of light on a centrally placed staircase. Horizon ribbon windows and an opaque skylight continuing down the wall of the more recessed residence give a clear indication from without of the interior spatial distribution. The ventilated wall is clad with extra-thin Laminam ceramic slabs, its grey-black shades lending materiality and elegance. To the east, wooden floor terraces with glass parapets mediate the extent of daylight entering the interior. Throughout, light - natural, zenithal and artificial - is the defining factor of the interior spatial design. Led strip lighting set above the windows creates a hiatus between indoors and outside, making the residences gleam like diamonds. Underground are plant, equipment and storage space, fitness area and a swimming pool for each residence. The ground floor is occupied by the living and dining areas whose sliding glass doors open out directly onto a patio; the upper storey contains the night zone. The ample use of wood is coupled with window and door frames in burnished bronze. The Laminam ceramic cladding covers both walls and roof, the latter also laid with photovoltaic film. The programme is a fine example of how technology and sustainability can be happily combined with quality architecture and lifestyles.

Francesco Pagliari

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