Twin house . Revigliasco

UdA with Maby Picco . photos:  Stefano Graziani

A two-storey semi-detached house made up of two separate dwelling units for a total surface of 300 sqm. The load-bearing structure is made from steel and reinforced concrete, with partitions and pillars. Closing walls made from brickwork and glass panes with printed adhesive films. The outer facing is obtained by means of phenolic multilayer wood panels following the ventilated façade method, with synthetic grass covering glued onto the exposed surfaces.

The building lot lies on the steep sloping side of a hill; it is rectangular in shape and faces south. The site is located in a high place, on the verge of a wooded area; it overlooks the plain and the landscape below, which is made up of meadows, farmland and built-up areas arranged in a mosaic-like pattern. Two roads that skirt the upper and lower edges of the hillside respectively lead to the building.

The main aim is achieving interaction between the house building and the landscape that surrounds it. Architecture is therefore employed as a means to interact with a place and highlight its characteristics by unveiling them. An element that looks unrelated to the existing situation is introduced: it is when the new building gets its own bearing on the whole by means of an inlay process.

The plan:
Though made up of two separate dwelling units, this semidetached house is conceived of as one architectural body lying on the hillside and jutting out over the flat land below. Its location in the upper portion of the building lot is due to the owner’s intention to privilege access to it along the upper road leading to the house. What makes it most attractive is therefore its high degree of interaction with the landscape it is set in: it is an element that produces contamination of the original state and allows the handling of the surrounding landscape through its shape as well as its external surfaces; it also provides a pattern for the organization of the inner volume and space which enables the onlooker to get a thorough view of the area with no visual restriction along the longitudinal axis that is made to follow the slope direction. Thus the idea of mimetic architectural solutions has developed, and these can be perceived at work beneath the effects produced by a sequence of visual angles quite different from one another. All this is part of the relationship between architectural device and natural location; on the other hand, any new building imposes a restriction on the potentialities of a site. The new building is basically an artificial body, but mimetic disguise makes it acceptable within the whole of the surrounding landscape, the key note being struck to this end by the approach from without which is obtained not only through the access to the house along the upper road, but also through the flat roof, the only architectural element that can be seen from the road and with its horizon line at the same time dominates the landscape below and gives it a new identity. To the eyes of a visitor the new geometrical arrangement looks nearly overwhelming, yet it is contaminated and takes upon itself, in the first person as it were, the traits of uncertainty and mutability of what stands around it. Reality turns out to be a texture, the outer facing of the building becomes a mosaic, an abstract web which is nonetheless familiar: it is the web of man’s work which has succeeded in transforming the main characteristics of the landscape. Inside, the various rooms are arranged in a pattern that finds its organization in the relationship between man and the natural environment all around, between the house and the lot of land it belongs to.

Project team: Andrea Marcante, Maria Beatrice Picco, Valter Camagna
Other team members: Luca Malavolta, Emanuele Franco, Corrado Curti

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