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Contrà Leopardi

Toti Semerano

Taking historic urban models and revising them in the light of new technology to deliver new residential developments with the depth, complexity and quality of the urban fabric we treasure: this was the objective underpinning the Contrà Leopardi project, a new housing estate at Olmi on the outskirts of Treviso, in north-east Italy.
Built by main contractor CEV on the perimeter of the little town, the new development faces onto farmland. To avoid the trap of being yet another anonymous cluster of new houses, Studio Semerano architects focused not only on the architecture of the individual buildings - using materials and technologies to ensure occupant comfort and energy savings - but also on the programme as a whole.
The aim: to make a valid addition to the town, a quarter in which to live, grow up and socialize. The sense of a compact neighbourhood is given by the consistent urban scheme. This is offset by several unique architectures that deliberately interrupt the spatial continuum creating different surfaces and an interesting interplay of light and shadow. Pedestrian-friendly, the neighbourhood’s communication routes are never straight. Bends and turns offer captivating views of the surroundings. The programme comprises 15 residential blocks for a total of 36 dwelling units, which has received the Ecolabel in Class B. Most are distributed over two storeys.
Each has either a garden or terrace. These outdoor areas offer the same privacy as the enclosed gardens lying behind the canal walls of nearby Venice. They are places where the family can eat, play, take the sun or grow vegetables. Great care has also been taken to ensure every house has a view: either of porticos, one of the little squares, walls, trees, architectural features or the countryside beyond. In addition, the blocks have been oriented to receive optimal natural lighting and sunlight.
Materials were chosen with ...

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