Cantilevered edges, airy interiors

The site is a uniquely South-Tyrolean landscape on the periphery of the historic city center of Caldaro overlooking a lake at the foot of a picturesque mountain-range.  Flanked by low-rise, traditional multi-family residences on either side, and backed by a sloping vineyard, the house rises above a lower access road to command a view of the lake basin and the surrounding mountains.

Result of an invited competition, the clients issued a project brief describing the climatic peculiarities of the site, inviting the architect to respond to the various ways they would ideally like to live the change in seasons over the course of the year.  Characterized by significant jumps in temperature, and marked by two prevailing kinds of winds (hot and cold), the house navigates the sloped site with a series of variegated outdoor spaces that pinwheel off the main body of the house. 

The terraces, balconies and loggias offer a heterogeneity of outdoor spaces that complement the adjacent living areas, and take their cue from the different exposures to provide distinct protective conditions (shaded, covered, etc.).

The house is comprised of four floors and is accessed by a lower court that gives onto a five car garage.  This lower level houses various service spaces along with a dining area complete with fireplace and wine cellar used during the winter months for entertaining guests.  The main entry is located on the upper “ground floor” which opens onto the triple height foyer, the core of the house.

The fireplace and the main staircase cluster around this pivotal space to create a dynamic center from which the various living quarters radiate outwards.  The open kitchen, the living and dining areas, and a guest bedroom are located on this level.  The bedrooms are located on the upper two levels, positioned around the open space of the foyer and mediated by a balustraded gallery.

The main volume of the house hovers above the ground floor by way of a continuous glass and bronze façade to provide a continuum between the living areas and the surrounding garden.  This sense of openness is carried through the rest of the house not only by the adjacency of outdoor terraces but also by the large apertures punctuating the striated, stuccoed façade whereby several windows are grouped together to capture particular views.

With a special attention to details and finishing, much of the cabinetry was custom-built, relying on European wood (oak) and artisanal craftsmanship.  The rough walls of the stairwell are a hand-sanded, textured stucco, while the bathrooms collate a careful color scheme of resin, and lime-based “terrastone”.  The travertine flooring and fireplace cladding is combined with bronze inserts in the dark-stained wooden paneling to create an amalgam of soft warm colors.

The house is a carefully calibrated environment, with 25cm thermal insulation and a geothermal heating and cooling system.  The house is certified “Casa Clima A” , one of the highest categories of energy efficiency and eco-compatibility awarded by the local green building council (recognized nationally).