- Design Team : Martina Salmaso, Giorgio Cappellato
- Engineering : Rodolfo Senoner
- Hydraulic System Consultant : Helmut Piok
- City : Bressanone
- Country : Italy
Text description provided by the architects. The pentagonal form of the house fans outwards from the structural core of the stairwell to provide sweeping views across the landscape. With no front or back, the house reveals a rotating continuum of living spaces that are accompanied by the variegated conditions of the site. From the Isarco Valley, through to the nearby meadows, up to the woods, and across the close-knit settlement of the small, hillside town, the South Tyrolean landscape is ever-present. The floor to ceiling windows allows the changing colors and textures of the seasons to become part of the daily lives of the family.
The owners stated that they were looking for a house where they “could breathe;” it was to be spacious without being too big and it was to be open without compromising the privacy of each family member. In short, the house was to give a sense of freedom. Taking advantage of the sloped sited, the ground-floor level cantilevers outwards to create a dramatic living space—a space of airy comfort and well-being. The seamless continuity of the warm grey floors is contrasted by the taut vibration of the planked, cedar ceiling. The wooden canopy of the locally sourced cedarwood plays off of the geometry of the house and integrates the wooden finish-work with the mechanical and lighting infrastructure to form one unified system.
With three children ranging between 12 and 18 years old, the family was also interested in a house that was a reflection of themselves. This consonance between the architecture of the house and what it communicated about the family was an important discussion in developing the design of the house. A closeness to nature, a respect for the environment, and a connection to the local community were all aspects to be accommodated into the design. Environmentally friendly materials together with a careful evaluation of the energy efficiency of the building envelope qualified the house for the “Klimahaus A” certificate. The large overhang of the roof at the street-level made for a public, social threshold to the home: neighbors stop to greet the owners and chat beneath the roof that forms this new outdoor room.
Trained as a carpenter and owner of a furniture design retail store, the client’s attention to the millwork and detailing were important elements of the design, acting as a frame within which the furniture could hold its own. Upon entering the house at the ground level, the main living area is an open plan, articulated into a series of micro conditions: the entryway, a small study, a living room, the kitchen, the dining area, and a second living room with the fireplace. The main bedroom and bathroom, along with the guest bathroom are also located on this level. The central wooden stair is nested within the exposed concrete walls of the service core and arrives at a central foyer that gives access to the three bedrooms, a large bathroom, a laundry room and a multi-use room. Entry from the garage occurs at this level.