“Learning From Venturi” - Private House | The Plan
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“Learning From Venturi” - Private House

ElasticoSPA | Elastico3

“Learning From Venturi” - Private House
By Davide Tommaso Fernando -

Anyone passing through the village of Coltura in the municipality of Polcenigo near Pordenone in north-east Italy would have little trouble recognizing the typical architecture of the area: pitched roofs with curved tiles, plastered masonry, timber balconies and uniformly proportioned solids and voids. These recurrent features of this mountainous region in part testify to an ancient historic legacy, and in part are the result of more recent building in compliance with strictly enforced landscaping and construction regulations.

Designed to preserve an ingrained concept of the genius loci, local regulations have produced some bizarre results. Coltura is dotted with pastiche examples of Friuli’s vernacular architecture, which although proudly proclaiming their embeddedness, pay little more than lip service to local traditions. They stand as living proof that by themselves regulations do not guarantee quality but must always benefit from the mediation of the architect. 

Planning regulations and their interpretation is a key theme of ELASTICOSPA+3’s project “Learning from Venturi”.

The building, a 200 sq m detached house, stands in a small plot at the edge of the village with sweeping views over the countryside and across to the nearby Alpine foothills. From the outside, this regular parallelepiped volume with plastered walls, small windows, pan-tile covered pitched roof and wooden balconies running along the first and second floors, complies fully with all town-planning rules. All (compulsory) elements have been included to obtain a “fully compliant” construction. Yet the “primary façade” encloses a series of “excavations”, into the body of the building that turn mundane into quality architecture.

Behind the parapets of the balconies peeps another programme of sinuous volumes and wide glazed openings that (finally!) project domestic interiors onto the...

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