Bassano del Grappa is a small town in northeast Italy nestled in the slopes rising gently out of the Venetian plain in anticipation of the Dolomites, its geographical position offering magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
Palladio recognized the combination of exclusive landscapes in an agriculturally fertile area when he built Villa Angarano, which is clearly visible from the new residence. Still today, the combination of urban villa and working farm that epitomizes this 16th century villa is the benchmark way of life in the area, blending functionality and symbolic expression.
During the 1960s, an extensive area not far from the Palladian villa was sold as plots for detached housing development. Their architecture harks back in simplified form to the villa nearby, albeit less sophisticated and without its agricultural connotations. The open vistas over the surrounding countryside were closed off in favor of more secluded domestic living. By the same token, the mid-20th century development also led to the countryside around the old villa shrinking considerably.
The project by Francesco Pascali Architetto for the new residence, Ca’ Gioia, positions itself between these two man-made features: Villa Angarano and the cluster of 1960s maisonettes. In fact, Ca’ Goia occupies the last remaining plot. Sited on slightly sloping terrain, and occupying the place of a former farmhouse, the new residence stands in grounds of approximately 8,000 sq. m planted with olive, cherry, fruit, and decorative trees.
Architect Pascali had to work within the framework of three invariables: the proximity of Villa Angarano, the pre-existing farmhouse, and the extraordinary landscape. The proximity of a UNESCO World Heritage building meant that all construction was subject to particularly stringent scrutiny by cultural heritage authorities.
The choice of following the footprint of the former construction was also functional to...
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