T2 House / Antonio Ravalli Architetti


Architects: Antonio Ravalli Architetti
Location: Ferrara, Italy
Project Team: Antonio Ravalli, Simone Pelliconi, Mauro Crepaldi, Giuseppe Crispino, Valentina Milani, Lorenzo Masini
Project Area: 110 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Antonio Ravalli Architetti


  • A small triangular area
  • 100 m2 of building capacity
  • A conspicuous, even though not valuable, presence of trees
  • A strongly reduced investment possibility
  • A client who balances his life between Italia and Africa, where he deals with active cooperation
floor plan

This leads to the idea of interbreeding the performance characteristics and the intrinsic qualities of Western buildings with the craftiness and simplicity (and thus the cheapness) of African ones.

A self-building system is chosen, though it’s a high performance one, especially under energetic aspects.

© Antonio Ravalli Architetti


  • The choice of a simple, light and cheap technology: wood. Fir laminated timber beams and OSB panels
  • The trees (with their shadow, and thus coolness) generate the house geometry, which remains anyway simple and Cartesian
  • The methods with which roots are cutted and looked after establish the proximity of the building to the greenery which surrounds and covers it
  • The falling of the leaves on the building determines the roof geometry
  • Gutters can’t be used
  • The exact position of the broad-leaved trees determines the place of the openings in order to obtain shading in summer and a positive greenhouse effect in winter
  • The adopted materials are reduced so as to avoid to teach the client how to work with new technologies
© Antonio Ravalli Architetti


  • A brick-blocks structure conceived as two counterposed C constitutes the spine of the house and ensures its earthquake-proof performances
  • The covering envelopes the whole building defining the interface with the contiguous vegetation
  • The structural frames, made of laminated timber beams, fit their pace on the panels dimension; less waste, more saving
  • The glazed surfaces use the vertical beams in place of the window frames, with the help of structural silicone glue and glass clamps
  • The winter thermal response is optimized by a combination of a programmable fireplace with forced airflow exchanger, together with a continuous thermal insulation realized with a ventilated reflecting mattress, used in aerospace engineering (there’s anyway, in reserve, a more traditional methane boiler combined with a radiant floor heat panels system)
  • The ‘Rothoblaas’ patent permits to joint all the pieces of the timber structure with simple patented screws
© Antonio Ravalli Architetti
structure axo

Project drawings look closer to IKEA instructions rather than classic working ones.

The most powerful screwdriver available is bought on e-bay.

The works begin.

Cite: "T2 House / Antonio Ravalli Architetti" 23 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=78733>
  • pathos

    Clean lines, economical, honest, and with soul. I dig it.

    • Katsudon

      I follow you on this comment.

  • j

    i see a lot of these projects using this chip board in the interior.is it at least clear coated,there is an awful lot of pharmadeahyde(sorry bout the spelling)in this type of wood to preserve it.they should at least clear coat it to seal it.beautiful design.simple.good proportions.useful.

  • Nom_de_Guerre

    Although I personally don’t feel much of a connection with the particulars of the design I think this is a very good example of low-cost, high-quality architecture.

    The structural solution is as simple as ingenious and I really hope good architecture gets as accessible and easy as Ikea furniture (without the low durability ;).

  • Chris

    Really loving the honest materials on the inside, nice design as well.

    Not sure about the copper exterior actually. Just seems a bit too fancy and out of place with the rest of it.

  • Pierced Brosnan

    Any idea of the budget of this scheme?

  • walli

    Nice english btw! No, really a great little house, simple and honest methods applied quite well.

  • http://podar-ok.com.ua Ivan

    simple and chip in construction.
    but that mdf (or whatever it is) looks disgusting