In the stunning Italian Alps, we embarked on a project to design a private residential house that combines modern living with environmental sensitivity. Our vision sought to fuse architecture with the natural landscape, which features terraced vineyards. The main residence is built using a cross-laminated timber structure, carefully adhering to passive house standards.
In the stunning Italian Alps, we embarked on a project to design a private residential house that combines modern living with environmental sensitivity. Our vision sought to fuse architecture with the natural landscape, which features terraced vineyards
‘Thus, we moulded the residence into a sleek, minimalistic volume poised above, its daring overhang reaching toward the valley vista below.’
Our client acquired an exceptional piece of land located in the mountains, featuring a quaint, rustic structure at its core. Their aspiration was to rejuvenate and enlarge this existing building. Regrettably, we found that a section of the existing house had been built without the necessary planning permission. This allowed us to rethink the whole project and start with a clean slate, building a home that could seamlessly blend with the surrounding landscape and suit the homeowner's modern lifestyle. This fresh start allowed us to explore ways to make the house more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, making it eligible for government incentives. These incentives allowed us to increase the size of the house by 20% beyond the local plan's limits. This approach also influenced our construction process. The lower floor, resilient and robust, was forged from reinforced concrete to bear the earth's weight. Meanwhile, the upper story was meticulously pre-fabricated using cross-laminated timber and delicately craned atop the concrete foundation.
Inside, we focused on maximizing natural light. The living room faces southwest to capture sunlight, while the bedrooms and utilities are placed on the northeast side. A central staircase connects the lower entrance to the upper living spaces, offering stunning views through a full-height glass panel. The kitchen and living area feature a large corner window, flooding the space with natural light and framing the landscape. A patio door provides access to the outdoor terrace. A short corridor leads to two bedrooms and a family bathroom, with the master bedroom boasting in-built wardrobes and a well-oriented ensuite. The interiors featured a neutral palette with polished concrete floors and wooden ceilings, creating a harmonious balance of textures and colours. To enhance energy efficiency, we used high-density insulated render combined with vertical timber cladding. This not only improved insulation but also added visual interest to the exterior. The flat roof featured a sedum blue covering, providing insulation and collecting rainwater for reuse. The primary heating system relies on an air source heat pump, supported by MVHR and roof-mounted PV panels to offset electricity consumption.
Location: Dolomites, Trento
Services: Feasibility to completion
Photos: Martina Mambrin
Contractor: Zennaro Legnami Srl
Structural timber design: Zennaro Legnami Srl
Civil engineer: Enrico Simonetti
MEP Consultant: Tekno Logich Group
Landscape: Tappeto Verde Snc
Photos: Martina Mambrin