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Private Residence

A Manifesto to Genius Loci


Private Residence
By Luca Maria Francesco Fabris -
Oikos, Laufen, Fassa Bortolo, Cosentino, Schüco, Tubes have participated in the project

Some places speak unconsciously of architecture. They speak a wordless, soundless language that expresses itself and becomes manifest through inexplicable, concrete, mathematical formulae deriving from nature. Similarly, visual relations, focal points and perspectives define vividly detailed transparent geometrical volumes in space. These invisible yet very real elements have to be read and interpreted, i.e. translated, in order to become material reality and a tangible element of our imperfect world.

It requires a good interpreter to transform such a powerful unexpressed signifier into its tangible counterpart. In a passage I always find illuminating, philosopher Carlo Michelstaedter notes that “[…] Man places himself in a cognitive position and makes knowledge”. Knowing is being willing to learn, allowing oneself to be absorbed without prejudice by external stimuli. Translating, and being a trustworthy interpreter is not easy. It requires cutting oneself out of the equation, becoming a transparent mirror of the original expression without adding or taking anything away - a difficult operation few are capable of.

Even this text has three words - “manifesto”, “translation” and “interpreter” that have at least two meanings, leaving the reader with considerable leeway for interpretation, with the result that these few lines may convey very different meanings! That leeway is even wider in the case of architecture, especially when translated into an actual building.

Founded in Milan in 2012 by Yolanda Velasco, Gerardo Sannella and Giovanni Feltrin, MYGG is gifted with this ability to interpret, following it up with relevant design. Their gift is very apparent in the project on the coast of Liguria, northwest Italy. The novel design of this ineffably refined yet concrete residence is an intricate part of the landscape. It stands like a cogent thought couched in competent discourse, a...

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