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Private House

Enrico Iascone

Private House
By Francesco Pagliari -

This two-family building is located in an extensive, 1960s residential spill-over area outside Sassuolo, Modena’s ceramic manufacturing heartland. It stands amid other detached or two-family houses surrounded by small gardens on a plot once occupied by a detached house, now demolished. The high-end design by Enrico Iascone and Carlotta Menarini used prefabricated wooden elements for the aboveground storeys on a concrete underground level. The thermal insulation and humidity control afforded went a long way to obtaining class A energy certification. Choosing joint-mounted prefabricated wooden elements provided the advantages of on-site safety and assembly accuracy that cut overall worksite time considerably. The articulated ground plan in the shape of two opposing “L” shapes presents an uncompromising geometry of sharp angles and clear-cut forms. The two parallel structures that result, some of whose segments are virtually specular, create secluded outdoor areas for both residences. Outdoor paving in varying size wooden slats extends the living and dining areas onto the exterior. Refined spatial distribution, studied orientation and consequent interior luminosity give the homes true villa status. Privacy, ample daylighting and subtle lighting effects are achieved by the adroit use of opposites: largely windowless elevations and glazed frontages. The whole architecture is a play on opposites: a large, apparently monolithic volume whose more secluded sides have different-size glazed lights giving glimpses into deep interiors and providing views onto the outside. On the north side, the house presents a compact front, the only opening - beyond a ground level parking area - the entrance to the more recessed of the two dwelling units. As well as containing the entrance to the other house, the west side of both houses focuses the ingress of light on a centrally placed staircase. Horizon ribbon windows and an opaque skylight continuing down the wall of the more recessed...

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