New San Cassiano village

P8 December 2019

Alba (CN) Type: New construction Area: 140 sqm per house (4 units) Completion: 2018 Images: Barbara Corsico In San Cassiano, Alba, a new village was born. On a small land portion, four buildings have been carefully located to take advantage of all possible views. Even though the density of the neighborhood, the four houses look far. Each one is conceived by the sum of two simple volumes, equal to each other, but differently “tailored” according to different needs of each family /client. Each building consists of two white parallelepipeds, one placed on the other one orthogonally. Arranged over two floors, every house has a simple and functional internal distribution, where all the rooms overlook in different directions, filling up with light. The extremities of the volumes are characterized by large windows accentuated by deep splays: big “telescopes” looking at the surrounding landscape. The light that floods the rooms and the purity of the white volumes that seem suspended are essentials of the project.

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Glass Kitchen

P30 July 2012

Alba (CN), Italy   Type: Expansion Area: 55 sqm Completion: 2012 Images: Pepe Fotografia This project involves the widening of part of a residential building. The pre-existence is a single family home built in the 70s with stunning views of the garden that slopes down to the green below. The passage of time and the changing needs of clients have led them to a will to change the existing structure, both spatially and functionally. So a corner, the kitchen, the most experienced and more intense, the one facing the valley, has decided to open up, to explode, like a pot that has been left too much boiling on the fire. And so it explodes, albeit in the context of a rigid geometry, creating a transparent and net volume, which can hold the novelty, the becoming of time and a whole new form of contemporary

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Y house

P25 July 2012

Montaldo Roero (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 150 sqm Completion: under construcion Images: Archicura In Montaldo Roero a new house is rising up. The project consists in a one floor unit and it is patially integrated in the hill, close to the property limit. There is only one emerging element that connects the terrace on the rooftop with the living zone. The shape of the house respects the hill outline: that makes the impression that the volume is “growing” underground. The connection with the surrounding evironment is the focus of the entire project. There is a direct relationship between the areas inside the house and the outside. The distribution and the horizontal development of the house also guarantee the best use of the natural light.

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Il Musot 2.0

P16 May 2009

Alba, Italy Type: New construction Area: 12.350 sqm State: final design Images: Archicura We get back to what we were talking about. In the area, needs changed, so does the architect proposal. The new complex for the Mussotto area, is a residential one, with about 12.000 sqm of apartments. The commercial part is no more a requirement. Instead, new rules discipline the use of the soil: due to the flood risk, the constuction of the basement level is not allowed and the first residential floor must be elevated (at least 2,40 m above the ground level). The project is revised. The new one aims to present an innovative and efficient technological constuction system. We propose the use of wood for the structure of the new buildings, in order to guarantee the best comfort and efficiency. The urban project is very important too: the surrounding areas (the church, the avenue, the river ) need to be connected by a project able to make them usable by the inhabitants and by all the community. New axes and new connections are created.

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Visiera House

P4 May 2009

Loc. Altavilla, Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 136 sqm Completion: 2009 Images: Barbara Corsico The architectural plan of the building has been able to convey a feeling of serene life plunged into a perfectly respected surrounding, without having to renounce its strong and individual character. The initial project was based on an existing construction. The idea behind it was to adapt the shape of the building to new technological needs and tastes while at the same time keeping its shape and disposition of volumes. The result has been the reduction of sections in the lower parts of the building in order to maximize living spaces. Despite legal and structural limitations, the completely open plan ground floor ( kitchen and dining room are both in one space) and the ribbon windows allow for a brightly lit living area. This floor is connected to the level above by a single flight open staircase with a very light metal structure, bound by a single transparent wall. The latter has avoided an excessive narrowing of the space and the risk of dimming natural sunlight. The small parallelepiped space, very squared in shape, has been completed by placing a “lid” to cover and protect the body of the building as well as enhance the rigor of architectural choices. At the same time, however, it tends towards the soft open countryside which clashes with the building's architecture. The two terraces on the eastern side of the estate also look onto this landscape. They have been conceived as clean and geometrical, but, like the rest of the building, tend towards the surrounding landscape. Therefore, the plan embodies the concept of finding one's place without imposing one's presence. The project has tried to best interpret the clients' needs by offering a complete and functional architectural plan, reducing spaces to the bare minimum, but at the same time creating wide and bright areas that can freely  communicate with external spaces, the Langhe countryside region, thus establishing an immediate and almost magical contact with nature.  

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G House

P30 April 2009

Torino, Italy Type: Refurbishment Area:  88 sqm Completion:  2009

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Ricca House

P30 July 2008

Diano d' Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area  240 sqm Completion: 2006 Images: Pepe Fotografia This family house stands on a suburban area along Alba Ricca street, and it is accessible via a local internal road. It develops on two levels along two orthogonal axes. The lower part of the building is coated in metal and it is the foundation on which the upper white section stands. The two volumes can be conceived as either independent or connected by an internal central staircase. The versatility of this construction, that can be used as either a house or an office building, contributes to the lightness and flexibility of its structure. Each level has been made practicable in order to improve comfort. The levels in question include the roofing, the terraces on the first floor and the porch. Two floors of the building face west ( local road 29), while another floor above ground level faces east (towards the hill). The total volume of the construction can be seen as a harmonious combination of  two blocks. The main block, on the first floor, runs from east to west, and its main sides face south and north.  This can be compared to a prism which lies on one side  on the slope of the hill, and on the other side  on the smaller block of the building (the ground floor) which is composed of two rooms. The sides of the prism-shaped body are not parallel to each other. The construction  has got an elongated form, its two ends touch the ground thus designing a central porch where are the two separate accesses to the two houses as well as the entrances to the garages ( or storage rooms). To create these spaces we have used the hollow part at the foot of the hill's slope that looks east, without emerging onto the ground floor. The first floor of the  building hosts three bedrooms, a living room,a kitchen and bathrooms.

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Four Apartments

P15 July 2008

Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Completion: 2012 Images: Pepe Fotografia The residential building is composed of four family houses and develops on two floors above ground level, connected by an external staircase. The building is composed of a central block, two full parallelepipeds that are externally defined at their ends by two vertical panels that draw the C shape of the two fronts. In the middle of the construction, we find an open parallelepiped that hosts the staircase. On the western façade is a staircase, which is independent from the central building in shape and material. The trapezium shaped parallelepiped leans on the building, is above the yard’s level and is part of the balconies’ background. The staircase is  closed off by perforated steel panels at the sides and full steel panels in the covering and  roofing of the lift. This gives out a sense of lightness and transparency that clashes with the body of the building and at the same time makes the volume and  light effects softer.

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Front House

P1 May 2007

Front Canavese (TO), Italy Type: New construction Completion: 2007 Images: Archicura The project is based  on complete restoration of the estate by replacing the existing country cottages. It develops on a narrow plot of land that stretches along a local road in the small village of Grange in Front, in the province of Turin. The whole project is  a clear a two-story building above ground level in the foreground and an additional one-story block, externally connected by terraces. On the ground floor, a central corridor separates, and at the same time links, the living area and the bedrooms. The living area is more sheltered and opens onto the adjacent unit of the same property. The area that hosts the bedrooms faces the entrance. On the first floor, an external masonry staircase leads us to the terrace and to the independent entrance to the bedrooms on the second floor that are used as Bed&Breakfast. Despite the clear separation between the house and the accommodation facilities, a connection between the two has been planned by building an internal vertical link.  

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Eight Apartments

P25 April 2006

Diano d'Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 1420 sqm Completion: 2006 Images: Pepe Fotografia The design of this building develops on two floors above ground level with external staircases. The main side of the building looks westwards, the entrance doors face the hills. The construction is composed of a main central body, closed at both ends by two vertical partition walls that shape the trapezoidal outline of the two minor sides of the building. The north-south sides of the building are interrupted by a wedge-shaped element  that runs along the length of the construction and which hosts the services for flats  at the front of the estate. The west side is interrupted by  external independent staircases, which differ from the rest of the building in shape and material. They resemble two trapezoidal/quadrilateral parallelepipeds leaning on the building and are integrated with the balconies' walls. All flats are provided with wide balconies and a yard that surrounds the whole building. The long and narrow prism shaped body rests on the two ends, thus creating a central porch which functions as a dividing space between the two apartments.  

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Vela House

P31 July 2004

Alba (CN), Italy Type: Expansion Area:  220 sqm Completion: 2004 Images: Pepe Fotografia The new, detached house has taken shape in the last few years and has a  simple and clear floor plan. It stands next to a pre-existing single-family home that was built towards the end of the 1980's. It has recently been extended with a new adjacent two-story building which hosts another family and branches out from the existing construction. The sense of connection between the two blocks is given by the cladding material (copper sheet and bricks). The new, compact and smooth block, that hosts the extended family, is geometrically connected to the first building despite the fact that thirty years have lapsed between the building of the two units.

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Farfalla House

P25 April 2004

Loc. San Cassiano, Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 966 sqm Completion: January 2004 Images: Fiorenzo Calosso The single family residential building stands on level land at the foot of a hill and stretches along the north-south axis, which is  the widest of the plot of land. A backbone runs through the whole length of the building, from which small “cluster houses” develop. These can be extended and connected through mobile sliding panels that, when needed, can change function and dimension of  either the whole space or part of it. It is an above ground two- story building. On the lower floor we have  the living area, while on the upper floor we find the bedrooms. The two levels are harmoniously linked by a close sense of connection. The upper level does not reproduce the same outline as the lower floor, rather it twists it with rotations, translations and terraces, in order to communicate the concept according to which at the time the building was constructed situations changed quickly. The evolutionary dynamics of its coming into being will accompany the becoming  of time and objects. This is particularly evident from the sinuosity of the central backbone which runs through the whole construction and touches every thing and every function, always ready to become a part of any space by simply sliding the partitions. This building aims at meeting the needs of growing kids and protecting their privacy. At the same time it also helps enjoy some alone time to think, study or to simply look at the sky, which protects a person's sleep under the symbolically shielding L-shaped overhanging  structures that characterize each side of the construction. Its smooth design is free from historical influences, which however give it bearing capacity, and therefore well suits the concept behind the project: freedom and protection in the process of becoming. The two steel shelters make a strong statement. They are the external materialization of the north-south spine, which brings out  the connection between the inside and the outside of the building and the main, both physical and emotional, path.  

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Bricco House

P20 April 2004

Trezzo Tinnella (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area:  200 sqm Completion: January 2002 Images: Archicura The idea behind the project is based on  two buildings linked together. The first follows the flow of the road that leads to the house, the second is shaped by contour lines that delineate the east and south façades.  This combination reminds one of the feelings a person experiences when they decide to leave oppressive city life behind in order to land on top of a hill and embrace the view onto the Langhe, bordering with the Alps which run from south to north. The eastern and western prospects follow the shape of the hill sides. The eastern prospect reproduces the shape of the hilltop next to the building. At first it is slender and bent, then it is broken by two gashes that remind of badland landslides. The western prospect runs parallel to the hill's slope, to then end at the summit, where the grass, on a counter slope, covers part of the roof terrace on the first floor. The building stands on the north, under a layer of topsoil. In fact, it aims at replacing the hilltop, suggesting that the terrace could be perceived as the continuation of  grassland itself. The only part that stands out is the upper floor box which is fitted with five windows that look towards the four cardinal directions. In this way, the building stretches out at a 360 degree angle onto the flourishing and colourful spectacle of nature. Therefore, the building gives the impression of partially replacing the portion of land that has been taken out to make space for the house which fits smoothly on the hillside, while at the same time respects its natural surroundings.

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Incastro House

P10 April 2004

Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Completion: 2002 Images: Fiorenzo Calosso The path that leads to designing a project can take  different routes. One may want to converse with the surrounding area, while another may prefer to find a breaking point through which they may slide and let the project take shape. In other cases, looking for a reconcilement between these two options may also be a viable opportunity. The process that has led to the designing and building of this villa originated from the idea of creating harmony between the merely natural element and the exclusively human factor. Following a similar line means that one is willing to deal with the uncertainty of a path that may take more than one direction, and  is rather a sequence of fragments   that either stand side by side or overlap. It means willing to embrace contradiction and give it  architectural form. The building is  made up of one body, but it looks as if it was undermined by conflict. In fact, as lines are projected towards the outside, others bend onto themselves. The same gashes that open the skin, built to create openings towards the green area, also give  the opportunity for introspective moments, that allow one to spot the soul underneath the green layer. In the same way, choosing to impose the building on the site has not only been bold, but also driven by a desire to find a connection with the surroundings. The soil, in fact, is very difficult, very long, narrow and steep. A similar surrounding could have inspired smoother and softer choices. However, the surroundings have made their declaration of independence, and so has the building, which had to be made able to stand by its statement. An architectural plan, however, needs soil. Therefore, despite being independent, it  anchors to it with a strong grip. Depending on where we are standing, we might be more struck by either the building or its surroundings, in a constant state of tension which, at the same time, also  communicates a feeling of tenderness. The estate develops along a progressive series of three L shaped structures firmly fixed to the side of the hill which support the two living levels. The structures' offset produces wide roof terraced spaces. The living room has glass walls and it extends outwards. The latter is suspended and protected below the lower structure. The two buildings are cut in the middle and connected by the staircase, which produces a deep and meaningful groove on the front of the valley.  

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W House

P1 May 2002

Loc. San Cassiano, Alba (CN), Italy Type: New construction Area: 140 sqm Completion: 2002 Pictures: Archicura The single-family residential building is part of a small village made up of about ten houses built in the 1970’s. The construction develops on a single, essentially prism-shaped level. There is only one way of accessing the roof, which will be covered with a layer of green grass grown in terracotta vases.

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Chiostro House

P25 April 2002

Italy Type: Expansion and refurbishment Completion: 2002 Images: PEPE fotografia in collaboration with arch. Francesco Bermond Des Ambrois The Albesi hills and the Langhe area are scattered with old farmsteads that are nowadays mostly used as temporary storehouses for obsolete farming and wine making tools, often abandoned and neglected due to the constant automation of agriculture. The need to rethink life in the countryside has led to the transformation of these building according to new demands. However, it has also been deemed necessary to keep the “historical” collective memory of these constructions alive, as well as to underline the  “genius loci” of these places. The city of Alba is surrounded by hills that are “as steep as mountains, but as soft as dunes”. The farmstead stands on one of these hills. A private road, that starts at the north angle,  leads to the estate as well as to three other neighbouring buildings. The construction is adjacent to a cottage from which the two lower sides of the building start. These section have been connected and contain the barn and the old dwellings. The unfortunate exposure of the building, which faces north, has required to focus much of the planning on the fundamental issue of sunlight . All the  fissures,   rifts or  openings are aimed at catching sunlight from  the early hours of the morning to sunset. The added central building is totally transparent to light in all its floors both vertical and inclined, except for the entrance masonry veneer wall, which is opaque for privacy reasons. The barns, that have windows, doors and shutters with an exceptional mirror effect, host the living area and the kitchen, connected by the central bridge under the “crystal roof”. The bedrooms are also on the first floor, and are distributed between the lower part of the building that connects it to the adjacent construction and the old part of the farm. This section has clearly been restored, however the proportions of the openings have not been changed, and the type of roofing and the wooden balcony have remained the same as the original building. The pre-existing pitched roof has been replaced by terraces wherever substantial works have been made necessary by the precarious conditions of the construction. The two small terraces that face west on the first and second floor guarantee a brightly lit living area and kitchen until sunset. The vineyards that surround the house are joined to the building by panels strengthened by wooden pilings that host vegetation and flowers, and at the same time prevent soil to run off onto the road. The only break the hill has granted is the area in front of the building: the garden develops on areas drawn on the side of the hill, below the building's ground floor.  

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