The project responded to a brief from the Province of Treviso housing authority (the A.T.E.R.), which called for innovative solutions in the construction of low-cost rental social housing, which do not sacrifice the quality standards of the dwellings. The project decisions made by Matteo Thun & Partners centre on a dual strategy: the use of mixed building technologies, with an emphasis on prefabricated timber construction; to provide a contemporary interpretation of a historically identified housing type.
The conformation of the block is based on the casa a ringhiera, that is, traditional working class housing typical of the area. General access is therefore centred around a timber staircase with metal bracing that serves the entire block, while access to the dwellings is off balconies that run along three of the elevations overlooking the internal courtyard. The overall plan provides that the toilets in the dwellings are located towards the courtyard, while the living and sleeping areas of each flat face outwards, thereby maximizing natural light and enhancing views.
The building has three above-ground levels. The ground floor consists of two separate dwellings and a large arcade that leads to the internal courtyard. The latter is functional as a source of ventilation for the homes, as well as providing space for planting grass and plants, therefore adding visual beautify. The ground floor is constructed of concrete and brickwork. For the upper levels, the plan centres on the extensive use of technologically innovative materials, using prefabricated timber elements for both the structure and infill. It is characterized by the presence of an outer shell and a grid formed by wooden slats along the length of all the facades, the primary function of which is to provide sun shading, but also to act as a compositional element that lightens the perception of the building volume by enhancing it with shadows and reflections.
The building is located in a residential zone near the town centre of Motta di Livenza and overlooks the Our Lady of Miracles Sanctuary.
Location: Motta di Livenza, Treviso
Client: Ater di Treviso
Gross Floor Area: 1.075 m2
Architects: Matteo Thun & Partners
Working Drawings: AMA E.G.C.
Main Contractor: AMA E.G.C.
Static Testing: Fiorenzo Carniel
Timber Shading: New Legno Italia
Glass, PVC Exterior Doors and Windows: Ser-Glass
Interior Doors: Cogif
False Ceilings, Partition Walls: EdilTecno 2000
Timber Roofing: Lignum House
Waterproofing and Insulation: Smerecina Hofatex
Photo by Daniele Domenicali
Matteo Thun & Partners
Matteo Thun & Partners – the partners being Luca Colombo, Antonio Rodriguez and Herbert Rathmaier – are involved in both the architecture and design fields. The studio comprises a team of fifty professionals, including architects, designers and graphic artists. Sustainability – financial, ecological and socio-cultural – is an ongoing subject for design research in the architecture of Matteo Thun & Partners, which focuses on sustainable solutions with a holistic approach that encompasses high aesthetic standards.
Matteo Thun, 58, is a Bolzano born architect and designer. He studied at the Salzburg Academy under Oskar Kokoschka and at the University of Florence. After meeting Ettore Sottsass, he co-founded the Milan-based Memphis group and was a partner of Sottsass Associati from 1980 to 1984. He lectured in design at the Vienna University of Applied Arts (Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst) from 1983 to 2000. In 1984 he opened his own studio in Milan and was art director for Swatch between 1990 and 1993.
Throughout his career, Thun has received several awards for his architectural, interior design and product design work. Among his many honours, he won three Compasso d’Oro awards in 2004 and was admitted to the Hall of Fame in New York. In 2004 he won a WWF Golden Panda for Best Hotel for the Vigilius Mountain Resort (Merano, Italy) and, in 2010, Wallpaper* magazine’s design award for two product designs.