Borgiallo || Italy
This project is part of a row of houses, in a terraced configuration, stretching horizontally along the side of a hill. The entire building is subject to building restrictions, such that it was mandatory to maintain the regularly spaced, whitewashed pillars on the southern façade.
The revamp complies with this restriction, but breaks up the composition into different front sections to the north and south. The three-floor interior is also reinterpreted, creating a new arrangement of space and new interior-exterior dynamics. This connection with the surrounding landscape is key to the upgraded building and central in the underlying architectural concept.
The initial brief - transform without disrupting building continuity - re-iterates the principle of the balanced progression of new elements, a sort of controlled addition of new thinking, materials and spaces. The idea is for this refurbishment to start from the interior, expanding the reference points. There is an overt awareness of the need to "mediate" the relationships between the different elements, including those that are not exquisitely local in nature.
This project introduces a new paradigm for comparison. There is a sharp distinction in materials and composition between the northern and southern façades.
The northern face is quite closed, to provide protection against the gusting winds, and clad with Luserna stone; the southern façade is geometrically complex, combining sections clad with larch and glazing. The transformation in relation to the terraced houses occurs on different levels. Part of the volume is set back from the main southern elevation, corresponding to a higher section of the double-pitched roof (the two pitches are differentiated by material, using existing elements, but with stone slabs on the northern side and terracotta shingles on the southern). A key element of the renovation is the creation of a wide empty space connecting the two façades, a sort of hole in the volume.
This produces a double effect: it embeds the landscape in the identity of the house and offers a view of the landscape across the two sides. It is a covered, yet open platform, accessible from the middle floor.
The internal division of space is articulated. On the northern side, the elongated windows, which continue into the roof to allow light in from the above, shed light on a full-height space. A staircase runs parallel to the windows and leads up from the middle floor to the bedroom, located in the upper section above the roofline. From the ground floor, with access to the living room, there is a flight of stairs that precisely mirrors the external steps of the empty volume outside, separated from it by a glazed wall.
The spaces meet and increase the sensorial experience, in a house where the complex and amazing perspectives really represent the added value of this architectural transformation.
Location: Borgiallo (Torino Province), Italy
Gross Floor Area: 180 m2
Architects: De Amicis Architetti
Contractor: Benedetto F. Costruzioni
Doors and Windows, Timber Flooring and Covering: Pozzi Albino
Resin Concrete Floors: Lyon’s Technologies
Lights: Catellani & Smith
Bathroom Fixtures: Ceramica Flaminia
Photography: © Luigi Bartoli, Gabriele Leo
DE AMICIS ARCHITETTI
In its work, deamicisarchitetti harnesses that typically Italian ability to interpret, cross-pollinate, and combine architectural ideas and languages from different places, times and cultural settings. In this way, the firm aims to design architecture that preserves the sense of time but with new and original outcomes and meanings. A fusion of yesterday and today. Fuelled by curiosity, research (academic and otherwise), and an ongoing study of the world in which we live, this approach is applied with particular attention to the interconnections and spaces that exist between ‘things’. The firm can therefore maximize the usability, diversity, and beauty of places – including both places where people move and places where people spend time.
deamicisarchitetti’s work is characterized by made-to-measure buildings and urban spaces that are created with attention to detail and return financial, practical, and affective value to its clients and the community.
A special focus on the form of living spaces – including the light that illuminates them and the surfaces that delineate them – makes every design unique, regardless of budget.
Cutting-edge sustainable energy technologies are key to the firm’s approach to environmental comfort, which, going way beyond the simple selection of installations and insulation products, simultaneously analyses all the factors that affect comfort and that influence work places.