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Alps Villa in Lumezzane, Italy

arch. Camillo Botticini

A 'C' shaped house, of copper and wood, biting into the side of the green mountain provides a unique dwelling. Space planning allows flow throughout the building between three defined spaces.

The house stands on a clearing in the trees, 700 meters above sea level, close to the "Passo del Cavallo", next to a road that connects Trompia Valley and Sabbia Valley on a steep slope. The landscape is characterized by an open valley to the south and a frame of green mountains with peaks of dolomite rock to the north.

We are still in a place close to the urban noise but at the same time far away, where the aroma of mountain herbs and grazing sheep seem to have stopped time; and this determines the founding condition: a primary relationship between the artificial intervention and nature.

Construction materials reflect the relationship between the earth and the landscape: the earth provides the project with ‘roots’ in the slope at the north of the site, the house seems to bite into the mountain, and landscape provides ‘freedom’ to the south, with an overhang that projects the house into the valley. 

To the north, a courtyard open to the mountain allows the viewer to witness the profile of the dolomite rock spiers, that at 1200m above sea level, continue the tilted green plane that virtually closes the fourth side of the house. To the south, a large splayed window mediates between the interior and the landscape, the light coming from the south conducted through a bay window to the north patio. 

Lightweight, integrated into the site, opening and closing, no exhibitionism, connection to the founding principle generated by the performance of the ground and the internal organization of space, producing an idea of ‘home’ that offers a contemporary house responsive to the site. These are the elements that make up the set, with a will of ‘harmony and tension’, searching for an architectural shape with strong expressive intensity, but at the same time a shape of ‘balance and rooting’ in the use of natural materials such as oxidized copper and wood. 

The house has an irregular "C" shaped plan, with a patio facing the fourth side – the green mountain plane - that delivers the planimetric structure that generates the spaces of the house, creating three bodies with variable height, increasing from the north-west, where the volume disappears by integrating into the ground. The first body has three bedrooms, two with windows facing the patio, while the third bedroom opens the master bedroom and its bathroom up into the clearing to the west. To the south of the second body, with a height between 3.50 and 4.50 meters, is the living room, an open space suspended between the patio and landscape. It’s closed side is characterized by the presence of a fireplace that ends with the same size of the south window. 

The living room continues through into the dining area, with a double height space: a continuous space, characterized by a structured covering that consists of triangular planes, inside which is the continuous lighting system. The highest part of the body is characterized by a loft, under which is the kitchen that opens to the patio, while above it there is a space for the study. It creates an integrated fluid area which is also open to the outside, simultaneously protected, almost closed on the east and west sides. 

Levels of access. The main level, covered by the 3 three meter overhang, is placed in the south-east. Upon entering there is a ramp, parallel to the main room with the fireplace. Here there is a stair to the dining room level and then on to the mezzanine, where a skylight opens to the sky at north. 

Access is by road. A driveway with a covered ramp, leading cars underground, one level below the main floor access. The pedestrian access is by way of a suspended linear form made of steel, leading from the road via a covered area leading to the house entry level.

An elevator connects the garage with the living area. Storage saces and service areas are located in the basement. The house looks like it belongs in the landscape, no ‘un-natural’ elements other than the suspended staircase that cuts the grass slope. The house has a  geothermal heat pump system and ventilated walls, creating a natural ventilation even though the thick walls (65 cm) that protect against cold and heat (Italian energy rating higher than ‘A’) help to create a house with very low heating costs, almost no fuel consumption and zero pollution. 

We wanted an environmentally friendly home and chose appropriate building materials and insulation, a sustainable home in balance with the landscape. Green meadows and trees frame the outer coating of corrugated oxidised copper and Accoya wood, the only elements that, along with the triple glazing, are the artificial acting in counterpoint to nature. 

The copper on the ventilated wall is modulated with a slight pleating, to vibrate the light on the non-reflecting surface. The wood of the ‘great splay’ reflects light that is refracted from the south. The patio flooring is made in iroko wood, the large windows integrated into the copper coating define a space that is enhanced by a green maple that introduces a piece of nature, are not materials around which you orient the house. 

Inside, the floors are made of sand-coloured resin, the walls are in white painted plasterboard and ceilings have recessed lights, parapets are in glass and the windows made of painted iron have the objective of exalting the space and its continuity, favouring the integration with the site.

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Building

Owner: 
Private
Completion date: 
2014
Country: 
Italy
Zip code: 
25065
City: 
Lumezzane (BS)

Categories

Applications: 
Facades
Roofs
Type of building: 
Residential
Copper used: 
Pre-oxidised
Estate: 
New

Architect

Name, office: 
Camillo Botticini
Address & description: 
CBA- Camillo Botticini Architetto via Saleri 18 25135 Brescia

Awards

Season: 
2015
Categories: 
Shortlisted

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