Private residence “Swisshouse XXV” | The Plan
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Private residence “Swisshouse XXV”

Tradition and Modernity

Davide Macullo Architects

Located in the Verzasca Valley, one of the most famous and picturesque valleys of Switzerland’s Italian Canton Ticino, Swisshouse XXV stands on the last buildable plot at the top of the village of Mergoscia. Perched on its steep 450 gradient site, the residence seems to hover over the valley below, commanding splendid views of the Verzasca dam and the wooded slopes reaching down to the water’s edge. Buildings respond primarily to their context rather than to the desires and ambitions of their clients and designers, for the simple fact that they outlive them. What we put in place is used by us for a relatively short time compared to how long that building will last. It follows that what we leave in our wake to our children and future generations is our responsibility. Architecture is the bridge between the DNA of a place and its future. Construction quality in mountainous regions is the direct result of the local population’s inherent respect for their harsh environment of steep slopes and climate extremes, both of which impose precision construction and long-lasting materials. Swisshouse XXV blends in with a village fabric consisting primarily of detached buildings several stories high. A study of the typology of the rural houses in the area led us to split the volume of the new build into two, staggering the façade to create two adjacent units of the typical 4 m width. This also allowed us to raise the height of the building thus keeping within the spatial constraints of the plot and the budget of the client. Although given a contemporary look, the pitched roofs lying perpendicular to the slope and the apertures both echo the vernacular architecture. Indeed, the key achievement of Swisshouse XXV is the successful blend of contemporary style and traditional features, which allows the house to fit effortlessly into its environment. To follow the lay of the land and avoid conspicuous overhangs, the lower floor was freed up of interior...

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