Text description provided by the architects. Location
A hillside grown with wines, located at the entrance of Val Morobbia, facing Magadino’s plain landscape at southwest. The steep slope plot is bounded at its lower part by a stone retaining wall that follows the main road.
This private residence, whose owners wanted to segregate the adults from the children’s space, responds to a very rich, articulated program: a living room, a kitchen, a suite with closet for the parents, an office, three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a laundry, two storerooms, a wine cellar, a technical room, an outdoor swimming pool and covered parking spaces. The project responds to the demand for a simple, compact volume. This decision refers to the “rural” memory that usually looks for a minimum use of the land.
The square monolithic building sits at the bottom of the plot, trying not to interfere in the original topography. We tried to reduce the landscape interventions as much as possible (a single outer passageway for the maintenance of the slope’s vegetation). In contrast with the minimalist, monolithic exterior building’s expression, its interior area looks (more)domestic and generous, where the spatial organization leads to the rediscovery of the landscape. The access is placed at the same level as the main road and is defined by the stone retaining wall. A gallery dug in the ground leads to the real entrance of the house.
The building is organized in three levels: the first one is underground and houses the pedestrians and vehicles’ access; the second one is semi-buried and accommodates the children’s bedrooms; and the upper one houses the living area and the outdoor spaces. The last one is organized around a courtyard bounded by two volumes that extend the living area towards the hillside and the Magadino’s plain landscape. Thus, the relation between the building, the plot and the landscape is restored.
In the search for a simple volume, with modest dimensions, we realized that it was necessary to harmonize the building’s height with the slope's natural topography. To make it possible, we needed to place much of the building beneath the ground level, what required some strategies to guarantee natural light in all indoor spaces. The building’s monolithic aspect is enhanced by the use of exposed reinforced concrete and austere facades with few openings. Thus, light touches the building entirely, establishing a dialogue with the landscape’s large scale.