The building is located in the historical center of San Candido, a small touristic village in the Dolomites. In the first three storeys (including one underground floor) it houses a department store while the upper three storeys have been transformed from a partly underused attic space into four large, independent apartments for the owner and his 3 daughters.
One façade faces a public plaza protected by local planning regulations could only be raised to the level of the neighboring roofs. Efforts were directed towards the rear façade, where it was possible to slice the inclined plane of the typical pitch roof and enable daylight to penetrate into the new living spaces whilst creating generous exterior balconies.
Seemingly simple and straightforward, the proposal digs deep into a complicated discussion: the conservation of the pronounced local vernacular townscape and building fabric permits a plethora of additive forms, i.e. dormers that in turn enable the occupation of attic space but the deductive equivalent- carving out from the triangular volume- which is actually more purist and less intrusive is received with reticence. This project aims to open up the discussion by respectfully working from within the local vernacular but expanding,
embracing and articulating new contemporary options that also relate to the genius loci and conditions of the area in various ways.
New vernacular more/better ground in the actual, current, contemporary local conditions.
The west-facing elevation explores how slicing and folding can be employed to expand the limits of the ubiquitous pitch roof typology, departing from its own given proportions and relationships instead of introducing a totally alien body, hence establishing a dialogue with it, which albeit friendly, it aims at being above all inquisitive; exposing what we believe to be a normative condition fostered by the local authorities.
The complexity of the interior spaces is a projection of the envelope’s geometry. The intrusions are partly translated into glazed balcony slots producing an abundance of light, views and a generous exterior expansion space within this dense urban situation.
To enable the new occupants to be connected to their surrounding context rather than feeling introverted.
In order to restrict the amount of additional loads onto the existing structure the new roof extension is realized as a lightweight hybrid steel and wood construction. The East side keeps the new elements completely in line with the original shape, colours and materiality. The West side maintains the colour in the façade but the materiality of the new roofscape changes into a dark-grey coated aluminium that combines a careful crafting of the contemporary form with blending-into the overall colour scheme of the town from the distance.
Plasma has evolved to engage with the potentials and challenges of today:
-Its studio locations in Beijing, Hong Kong, London and Bolzano enable the practice to mediate local conditions with a global scope and outlook
-It is working across a range of scales from furniture and installations to urbanism and master planning
-Plasma's critical design-research-led processes have bred a comprehensive approach that addresses the limits of discreetness, conventional topographies, hierarchies and spatial codes; whereby the need for new kinds of connectivity and complexity give rise to transformative tectonics and new relationships that respond to the specificities of the local context
We are interested how architecture can perform as link between global, regional, urban and environmental systems and forces on the one hand, and the sphere of subjective, individual corporeal experience on the other