Butterfly House

Two for One, One for All

The house is composed of two single-pitched volumes that together form a single house for the Fellin family overlooking the Val di Non Valley in the Trentino region of Northern Italy.  Famous for its apples, the valley is characterized by wide, rolling hills of fruit orchards dotted by small settlements with lake Santa Giustina at its center—all set against the backdrop of the majestic Brenta Dolomites.  After decades abroad, away from his first home, the client decides to return to this landscape, to his origins to build on the site of his parents’ home.


At the heart of the project lies the idea that the house is a place of hospitality, it is a place where family and friends can convene to celebrate the holidays, cook together, and enjoy meals in each other’s company at the end of a day of apple picking, hiking, skiing or biking.  Carved into the volume of the house, a series of outdoor rooms create protected areas to enjoy the outdoors as an extension of the interior rooms.  At the lower level, a curved wine cellar and tasting room anchors the house to the ground, while the stube, or traditional, wood-lined family room opens up onto the garden.  The ground floor is a generous, open space whose continuous glass façade lines the living room, the kitchen, the dining room and the outdoor loggia with the stunning views.  At the top level, the four bedrooms and three bathrooms are connected by an airy vestibule whose cedar-planked ceiling continues into the sleeping quarters to provide a place of alpine tranquility.


Porphyry, larch wood and cedar pine constitute the limited palette of materials that characterize the house.; simple details and surface treatments have been developed within the immediate economy and building crafts of Val di Non.  Indeed, the client’s back to the roots house is a deliberate project whereby local builders and craftsmen form a team invested not only in the construction of the house, but more importantly in the making and transfer of the local culture through the act of building.


With a common sense approach to environmental building practices, the house falls within the region’s highest level of sustainable certification: Energy Performance Certification (APE): A+ class.


Val di Non (TN), 2022


private commission

Project Team

Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol, Filippo Pesavento