Villa Kofererhof - Bergmeisterwolf Architekten
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Villa Kofererhof

Bergmeisterwolf Architekten

Edited By Francesco Pagliari - 25 May 2017

The quaint village of Novacella nestles in the Vahrn municipality of South Tyrol. The mystical, impressive abbey is a local gem, founded in 1142 by Bishop Hartmann of Bressanone. Today the complex is home to the Canons Regular who live according to St. Augustine's rule. An old farmhouse - or maso, to use the local word - lies slightly above the monastery's vineyard. It is owned by a family of wine-growers, who recently decided to extend and refurbish it. The new villa, embracing the traditional maso, merges seamlessly into this Alpine landscape, accentuating the integral connection between land and building in this valley filled with vineyards, constructions, terraces and slopes. Here, human presence blends easily into the mountainous Alps. The different levels of the plot were initially key traits of the design and eventually become its hallmark. The north side of the villa hugs the line of the slope, as the two above-ground floors stretch into an articulated, fragmented volume, with many intersections integrating into the environment that morphs into an organically creative evolution. The effect is of a building rising from the earth. A thorough topographical study, accounting for every rise and drop, was the basis for molding the building, turning a potentially heavy monolith into a sculpted structure that rests, rather than weighs, on the earth. It is a lovely example of bilateral interaction between landscape and architecture. Two volumes jointly define the composition, intersecting to forge an internal courtyard. The one is a parallelepiped clad in natural stone, while the other is a vibrant, multifaceted, concrete-clad volume with sloping elevations, terraces and windows. Inside, an elegant, brutalist style is evident, with a combination of concrete and wooden paneling and partitions that also play a structural role. The organization of the interiors mirrors the adaptation to the terrain. The access to the upper floor leads to a series of living spaces at different levels that precisely look out onto the sloping landscape, creating a different interaction between each interior environment and the outside. For example, in some rooms, the windows are visibly small, while others have sweeping sliding doors leading onto the terrace. The privacy of the internal courtyard disappears into the grand, open garden, with the terrace and swimming pool almost hugged by the vineyards. The composition is not driven by a precise set of rules, but exploits the interplay of heights, views and volumes to expand and compress the space, the openings and the relationships with the exterior. The progression from the villa to the surrounding landscape is slow, almost making this construction an addition to nature that completes and redesigns the landscape.