Architects: Orma architettura
- Area: 110 m²
- Year: 2019
Photographs:David Giancatarina, Julien Kerdraon
- City: Évisa
- Country: France
Text description provided by the architects. Evisa is a secluded mountain village of 200 souls, with limited access to construction materials and strong meteorological constraints. However, there is an abundance of local resources, such as a Laricio pine and chestnut trees forest and the ancestral know-how of local craftsmen, which were of tremendous economic significance and made Evisa the capital of the micro-region. The completion of this project is the result of a consensual relationship with the client.
The team’s leitmotif was to work with local means and channels. The porch’s architecture promotes a microterritorial ecology that rests upon local materials, not only in their use but in their comprehension, how one understands their qualities, and how to work with them. The project is small-scaled but has an important social dimension.
Evisa is a village made out of stone. It’s composed of solid, monolithic buildings bearing simple volumes, surrounded by chestnut and Laricio pine woods (endemic). The porch sits at the back of the yard and is an analogy to a secular oversized chestnut tree, bearing imposing foliage. The project has a cross-generational reach. It has to be a shelter, first, but also a place where memories are made and stories told, thus continuing the great Corsican tradition of oral transmission of knowledge. The porch must also be an educational tool to promote environmental awareness, as well as local history and know-how. Inserted in a monolithic and mineral architecture, the porch is a homogeneous mass, crafted with the on-site needs and constraints.
Adjoined to a parting wall, the porch fits the site to the limits but its’ geometry molds the different situations. It stretches vertically towards the west to open up the yard and the view on the wide landscape, then lowers towards the north end so not to obscure the existing building. One of the key aspects of the project was the general will to use locally sourced wood. The completion of the project was thus carried out thanks to a specially developed local channel, as wood was cut-down, sawed, and hewed within a 30 km radius.
Hence, we needed to evaluate the quality of the wood visually and use another variety of lower quality to give ourselves a margin of error. The village forest was no longer being exploited on a scale that would fit the needs of the project. We believe there is added value in local craftsmanship. The strict adaptation to the site meant tailor-made elements of carpentry were often fitted directly as the structure and cladding were made on site.
The formal adaptation to the site and to the program made necessary the crossing of a 13 metres distance. Such a span meant the use of laminated wood mandatory. We used Laricio pine wood for that, as it has the particularity of being very straight and its fibers are strong. In fact, the Laricio pine was used in boat making for masts. Though it was sourced locally, it had to be shipped to the mainland for drying and assembly before being shipped back to Corsica and installed on-site.