Architectures of Spaces and Envelopes: 3 houses | The Plan
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Architectures of Spaces and Envelopes: 3 houses

ElasticoSPA | Elastico3

Whether new-build or restoration project, these three single-family private houses are similar in that they are all site-specific. They differ widely in setting and architectural and functional programme. The “Golf House”, a new-build private holiday home, lies in the Apennine hills between Liguria and Piedmont in northwest Italy; the “Country House” aggregates a series of old houses in the countryside near Sacile in the Friuli region (northeast Italy); the “Holy House” is the first part of a multi-facetted programme to renovate a row of run-down houses in the little town of San Quirino, again in Friuli. 

The two Friuli projects make a point of retaining the distinctive features of the original constructions. The solutions, materials, spaces and volumes of the two renovation programmes ensure that the original architectural characteristics are clearly legible in the renovated buildings. At the other end of the scale, the new Golf House is a strikingly contemporary volume that sits well in its landscape while staying within the confines of local regulations and construction traditions in terms of elevations, plastered walls and pitched roofs.

The Friuli programmes took the pre-existing buildings and transformed them into architecture delivering contemporary living standards. Traditional architectural features, materials and spaces have not been effaced but made to dialogue with the new. Innovative envelopes visibly hark back to traditional forms. Similarly, although completely independent of their linear parallelepiped perimeters, the contemporary geometries and distribution circuits of the interiors blend vestiges of the past with contemporary features.

As well as preserving part of the original building, the “Holy House” retained the painstakingly detailed finishes typical of traditional construction techniques in this part of Italy, almost as if the project were a self-build endeavour. Most...

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