This villa in Luino sits on the Lombard side of Lake Maggiore and it is the views of this body of water that truly define the nature of this detached house. The plot is perpendicular to the water, with a slope down towards the lake that helps define the shapes and volumes of the villa, right down to the short flight of steps that actually leads to the shore. The glazed front door is emphasised by a small metallic overhang that also offers a touch of shelter. This overhang faces the mountainside of the villa, which is compact and closed, with the entrance door the only opening. The villa has two aboveground floors and a separate outhouse, also on two levels, that houses the laundry and the double garage.
The key spaces are all lake facing. On the ground floor, the living area stretches along the entire full-height glazed façade, opening onto an outdoor area, through a glazed wall, that extends the living room and the double-height kitchen and dining area. This side of the building is divided into two sections, both vertically and horizontally. The lower part is marked by full-height glazing that creates a dynamic relationship between indoors and outdoors, while the upper part is a solid material finish as all the bedrooms on that top floor are lake facing. A stone clad partition juts out and extends right up this side elevation, dividing the volume in two and separating the outdoor space connected to the living area from that of the kitchen and dining room. This helps differentiate the functions, mirroring the internal layout. On the same side, the rectangular swimming pool lies parallel to the building.
On the upper floor, there are three bedrooms (plus another one at the back on the ground floor). This zone is also arranged to face onto the lake, with the glazed doors leading onto the loggia protected by the roof.
The volume of the design is geometrically compact, focusing on emphasis and difference. The glazing contrasts with the solid outer walls, a result of both functional and design considerations. The dominant idea here was to convey the impression of an architectural space that becomes compact while simultaneously becoming lighter, depending on the viewer's perspective. As such, the overhangs and the windows, which look like dots on closed surfaces, actually work to highlight the materials used. The solid façades have manifest traditional origins, but openly hint at a contemporary soul. The structural elements in reinforced concrete and the façades are clad with zinc-titanium panels that are also used on the roof. The anthracite black and the texture of the panels, with invisible fixing systems, are subtly reminiscent of traditional stone shingles and add to the volume of the villa, conveying the impression of a dense weave of material.
Luogo: Luino, Varese
Anno di Realizzazione: 2014
Architetti: Forni & Gueli
Fotografie: © Piermario Ruggeri