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Casa T2, Ferrara, Italy

Antonio Ravalli Architetti

A self-build project in Ferrara, Italy combines energy-efficient technological solutions with simple and low-cost constructions based on the use of laminated wood and copper shingles.

Design criteria:

  • A small triangular plot
  • A foot print of 100m2
  • A number of established trees
  • Low-cost
  • A client who shares his time between Italy and Africa.

The overall idea was to combine the performance qualities of western construction with the simplicity and economy of African countries. A self-build project, one that has a high energy performance.

The programme:

  • The choice of a simple, light and economical technology. Wood (beech lamellar beams and OSB panels)
  • Trees create geometry (and shade) that remains simple and Cartesian
  • Cutting and care of tree roots establishes the proximity between the building and the vegetation that surrounds it
  • The fall of the leaves on the building determines the geometry of the cover, gutters cannot be laid
  • The exact location of hardwoods determines the location of the shrubs for summer shading and a positive winter greenhouse effect
  • Minimizing the use of materials that do not fit with new technologies.

The technologies:

  • A brick-clay double structure is the main body of the house and ensures its ability to withstand any seismic movement
  • Lamellar structural tiling finds its geometry on the size of the plywood boards
  • A patented system allows joining the wood structure with simple patented screws
  • The copper is easy-to-install and well-suited to a wood-based skin, that solves the interface with nearby vegetation, allowing the gutters to be omitted from the design
  • Glass surfaces use structural posts such as structural silicone frames and handcrafts
  • Combination of a programmable wood burner with forced air supply, combined with continuous insulation with aerospace reflective ventilated insulation, optimizes winter thermal response (there is also a traditional methane boiler with radiant floor panels to be used as a reserve).

Project designs are closer to IKEA instructions than to a complex build. You buy the most powerful screwdriver available on e-bay and you start the project.


Project Name: House T2

Area: 110 m2

Materials: Copper, wood, brick, concrete blocks


"Casa T2" A Simple Copper Clad House In Italy | Antonio Ravalli | Small House Design

This small house in the Italian countryside was designed to be simple and cost-effective to build. It is covered, walls and roof alike, in copper shingles, making for an eye-catching building that at the same time is compatible with its rural setting.




Completion date: 
Zip code: 
Via del Gorgo


Type of building: 
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
Arch. Antonio Ravalli
Address & description: 
Antonio Ravalli ArchitettiVia del Gorgo 79, 44124 Ferraratel/fax 0532-61641; info@antonioravalli.itGruppo di progettazione: Antonio Ravalli Architetti / Antonio Ravalli, Simone Pelliconi, Mauro Crepaldi, Giuseppe Crispino, Valentina Milani, Lorenzo Masini  

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