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Blade Residence

A Landmark Between Art and Architecture

Mino Caggiula Architects

Blade Residence
By Caterina Testa -
AGC Flat Glass has participated in the project

The design approach of Mino Caggiula and his studio embraces art, photography, architecture and landscape to blend the complexity of the city with areas of contemporary natural vegetation. The idea behind Blade Residence in Canobbio on Lake Lugano was prompted by the work of the American land artist Richard Serra, but also by Caggiula’s own interior design concept of living shielded by a series of metal sheets set at different inclinations. In fact, as well as a new landmark on the slopes above the lake, these upright metal blades create a linear series of intriguing living spaces.

A photograph of Mino Caggiula standing between the metal partitions of a sculpture by Serra was the beginning of the Blade project, a high-end residential complex built on a plot scouted by the designers themselves: a steep, wooded slope overlooking the lake, the perfect natural context to position art and architecture that would interpret and enhance what was already there.

Six curved weathering steel blades dig into the ground, bypassing the wooded slope and leaving it intact. Oriented towards the lake, the upright blades define the interior and exterior spaces of the 11 residential units. The radius of the arc described by the construction – about 220 linear meters – is designed so that the height of the internal chord never exceeds 1 mm every linear meter. This ensures that all the interior spaces can be usefully furnished. It also sets up a close relationship between the human and natural dimensions, between landscape and interior living spaces.

Located on a steep slope above the lakefront town of Canobbio, the development comprises duplex units arranged on two terraced levels. The wide roofs of the six lower valley-facing residences become the terraces of the blocks above. In both blocks, the lower floor has a recessed living area that continues seamlessly onto an outdoor terrace or space. On the projecting upper floor, secondary...

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