Located in contiguity with the historic Villa Belforte this is spread over 5 levels. The first two are partially underground and remain below the level of the road, while the three above are placed at the level of the villa floors. In doing so, the final impression towards street San Gottardo is of a modest 3-storey building, leaving breath and fully respecting the pre-existence. The location of the building volume remains enclosed between the road, the historic villa and the river that runs underground. This position is exactly centered on the flow of the river which guarantees an open view of Lake Verbano.
To detach the two buildings at least at the urban level, it was decided to insert the stairwell in the middle of the two, and also to ensure in the future that both buildings can use the lift and the covered garage without any other intervention. As a closure of the staircase, on the vertical metal nets, over the years a climbing plant will grow and will definitely change colors and balance of the artificial volumes.
This design approach made it possible to find an agreement between the owners and the cultural heritage offices in order to avoid the demolition, for a feared instant, of the old house. At the volumetric level, we worked with primitive volumes and neutral materials in order to almost brutally decrease the contrast with the paradigms of the old building. We therefore worked on volumetric subtraction to create harmony and rhythm.
The type of apartments are simple 3.5 rooms with two introverted balconies, two bathrooms and laundry in the house.
On a chromatic and material level, externally we used dry sandblasted reinforced concrete with a more intense base in correspondence with the existing one, so as to visibly tie the building's grounding. By doing so, the new intervention is attenuated by generating a single building that will include both the existence and new. The other materials present are oak wood, stone and the green of nature which is omnipresent, from the context to the project.
On the roof level a solarium has been created for summer dinners and moments of enjoyment among the inhabitants of the apartments.
The outdoor area is essentially made up of grassy surfaces, some gardens built according to the oriental art of Zen gardens, and completed with fine trees.
“Closed in itself, rocky. Kind to others, he was open to the poetry of nature.” @rossorota