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"Residenza Bella" Apartments

An Iconic Urban Prism

Floriani e Strozzi Architetti

"Residenza Bella" Apartments

Describing contemporary Swiss architecture is both easy and difficult. Easy, because usually projects are always excellently designed and built, the result being exactly to what you expect. Difficult, because everything fits within a framework of clear, albeit unwritten, rules, which in the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino become a series of formal paradigms to be closely followed. This produces entirely recognizable, intrinsically “geo-localized” constructions whose margin of error is reduced to a minimum. There are exceptions, however.

Take the designs of Filippo Floriani (1984) and Marco Strozzi (1972). Working out of their practice started in 2016 in the Paradiso neighborhood of Lugano, both architects benefited from a long and fruitful period working with Ticino’s architect Mario Botta, an experience they are now putting to good use while at the same time showing how a highly personalized architectural lexicon can develop out of a fundamental, and in some ways, absolute initial imprinting. Floriani and Strozzi have been able to step outside the box of formal architectural tenets and take their research into the realm of materiality and technology. This emancipation has allowed them to adopt designs fully aligned with sustainability - as seen in the architectural project in Locarno presented here.

Located in an outlying but up-and-coming district close to the road network leading into the city, this new high-end block - called Residenza Bella after the name of the owner - is close to Alto Verbano, frequented by tourists but also the headquarters of Locarno’s important international film festival. On a plot previously occupied by an open-air storage yard, the building stands some ten meters back from the street, in compliance with local building requirements. Lying on a north-west/south-east axis and overlooking Via Varesi to the west, this seven-story prism-shaped building containing 33 apartments is cut away at...

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