Parenthesi takes shape from the desire of both the designer and the client to recreate an open space projected towards the surrounding nature, starting from an existing ruin located at the highest part of a hillock. The allotment suggested the orientation and intrinsic characteristics of the architecture that should have been built there: characterised by the typical terracing of the Sicilian landscape, supported, at each change in height, by walls of dry lava-stone, it is open on all four sides to a continuous view that leaves the Gulf of Catania to immerse itself in the view of Etna. The possibility of being able to enjoy an open panorama at 360° was therefore the starting point of the design idea. Glass, as the predominant element of the project, was the material in which the volume was imagined, first of all for its transparency properties and second for its reflectivity, allowing those who stay on the inside of the house, to enjoy the surroundings and the surroundings to be reflected in the architecture. The need to feel immersed in the woods led then to lowering the internal walking surface by 50 cm compared to the existing level, and together with the desire to direct the gaze outwards, as if looking through a gap or a smaller section, led to the development of an ad hoc section. This is configured as a parenthesis that encloses the entire dwelling within it, and is composed of two elements, one that touches the ground and the other used as a covering, both 30 cm thick. The first made of reinforced concrete that performs the functions of both slab and floor, the second made of wood and covered on the extrados with standing seam metal. The interior finish leave, intentionally, room for the plainness of the materials used: the concrete is screeded and then treated with a transparent resin, while the intrados of the covering is covered with chestnut wood battens, emphasising the contrast between the cold streaks of the cement and the warm veins of the chestnut wood. The outdoor spaces also become the key elements of the intervention: in fact, the lower slab, that touches the ground from the indoors level of the dwelling, rises 50 cm along the south and north sides of the dwelling itself and extends 3 m sticking out, to become an outdoor seat and patio. An additional ploy to further capture the view of the gulf was to extend the jutting west elevation beyond an existing terrace, simulating an open patio and thus ensuring an immersive experience of nature. Eventually, great importance has been given to the villa's energy behaviour. Measures have in fact been implemented to limit the accumulation of internal heat and the consumption of energy for cooling or heating the rooms: the foundation slab is insulated from the ground by a double layer of clay; the windows, in addition to being always shaded by the jutting cover, have blind wooden parts that can be opened, allowing ventilation and air exchange; the covering is fitted with photovoltaic panels. All this, together with the accurate planting of deciduous and non-deciduous species, has led to the design of an architecture integrated with nature, projected towards energy saving, simple but of great emotional impact.
Salvatore Terranova and Giorgia Testa founded the LineaT studio in October 2015 after collaborating with established architecture and engineering firms.
The studio has realised projects in the residential and commercial fields, on small and large scales, up to the design of design elements, with a focus on research into innovative materials and construction techniques.
A promoter of architecture that integrates with the territory in which it operates, and that is first and foremost a vehicle for social regeneration. Aware of the importance that architectural study has on the quality of life, it operates with the aim of triggering a domino effect that leads to qualitative development of the territory on a large scale.
The process of creation develops from the composition, integrated with the technological aspects, and respectful of the suggestions of the place on which it stands, to the study of detail addressed to the design.
Cast your vote
The voting session is closed