LocationSondrio, Province of Sondrio, Italy
Architect in ChargeAlfredo Vanotti
From the architect. This house is located in the surroundings of Sondrio on the Orobic Alps at about 1000 meters of altitude. The customer requests were to transform an existing ruin, realized in bricks of concrete, into a residence, that had the most solar radiation and lighting in the livingroom and, at the same time, a view toward the bottom of the valley. In those circumstances, after a careful analysis of the context, of the possibilities in terms of exposure, of the study of the sunlight and the study of technologies and of the values of the mountain architecture, I realized the project through a reinterpretations, in a modern key, of the construction techniques and materials used in the past.
All that because I believe that mountain architecture is an emblematic example of sustainable architecture, using materials obtained from nature and, for obvious reasons, found in place. From a formal point of view the house refers to the rural houses: the only sloping roof, completely coated by stone and with no eaves. I worked first of all on the insolation and lighting because the Orobic Alpes are poorly exposed to irradiation, opting for the coverage to a single aquifer; this decision allowed me to raise the wall exposed to the north, inserting the 4 openings of equal size (2,30xh.1,40 cm), one a room on the first floor and two on the ground floor with a wonderful view on the Retic side of the Alps and, at the same time, achieving a double height on the kitchenette and dining area, illuminated from above through a skylight, flush covering, consisting of n.2 glass from 0.70x1,80 cm and n.3 glass from 0.70x0.90 cm. I obtained a environment lighted in a natural way, ensuring an economical energy saving and satisfying all the requests of the custumer.
The structure is in reinforced concrete and bricks of concrete, with suitable thermal insulation, in order to obtain a good living comfort, and coating in local stone. The cover consists of lamellar beams in wood and painted in white color. Doors and windows are in lamellar larch brushed and not treated with double glazing burglar proof; from the point of view of materials and their combination I chose those with a strong intrinsic materiality: stone and wood. The inside it is, for the most part, concentrated on the local craftsmanship, because I believe it is very important: it represents our history. So I tried to achieve the greatest possible pieces on measure from my drawing, using materials that could allow me as reinforced concrete, natural larch, iron and wood. Thinking this way many elements are born: fireplace, table, chairs, stairs, bidet, wc, shower and sink.
The same for the kitchenette also realized directly in place, on stainless steel with 2 sinks. Also the outside system of the bathroom was realized in stainless steel. For the artificial lighting I used the historical pieces of design Flos, suspensions Vesoi brand and in the kitchenette a lamp Lamp (VI), always by my drawing, in natural larch. The unit consists of a ground floor with entrance, living room, kitchen and bath in
which the spaces are well defined (the rupture element is the cement block) but at the same time, open and bright and a first floor composed by two bedrooms and a loft used as study.