- Developer: AP Costruzioni edili Sagl
- Structural Engeneering: Jelmoni SA
- Flooring: Gamboni Shop SA
- Design Team: Matteo Inches, Nastasja Geleta, Vincenzo Rothen
- City: Locarno
- Country: Switzerland
Text description provided by the architects. Casa Desgraz, which was commissioned by an elderly couple, is located in Solduno, a tranquil town in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland, close to Locarno and the Lago Maggiore.
The original house had parts from the beginning of the XX century with further additions dated between the 1950 and 1960. The project deals with the local building laws applied to constructions in protected nucleus zone that don't allow existing openings to be modified or the typology of the roof to be changed.
Due to these restrictions the structural envelope was not changed. The number of openings and their dimensions remain the same. The pitched roof on the other hand was raised by 1 meter in order to offer extra space in the living areas and refurbished following the construction techniques of the local typologies but at the same time applying a new aesthetic. The roof is imagined as a thin layer that crowns the building and underlines its massive and irregular historical walls.
The interior of the building was totally emptied and completely rebuilt. The technical room, laundry, guest bedroom are located on the ground floor where as the kitchen and living area are on 1st floor. The master bedroom and its bathroom are on the top floor.
Wood is applied as the main finishing material; it is used like a coating that wraps the spaces and increases the perception of being enclosed in a private, warm and domestic environment.
The double height space in the living room increases the perception of verticality and size of the space as well as allowing a visual and acoustic connection between the sleeping area and the lower spaces.