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place Cotronei year 2019

houses in the Sila landscape






houses in the Sila landscape

living the landscape _ Investigating the theme of the house is an exploration of the deeper meaning of the relationship between man and the Earth. It is, in essence, a way of establishing how you want to set up a soil to relate to the environment. The project for the two residences starts from the recognition of the values of a very specific geographic reality, for landscape quality, for territorial context and for topographical condition. These values become the first issues from which is to draw relational demands, which will affect the specific sense of living in that place. The site of the project is located in Cotronei, in the park of Sila, and participates in an environmental system that preserves the characteristics of the original landscape of the interior of Calabria, still in balance with the elements of anthropization. The project offered itself as an opportunity to collect the original elements of the Crotonese mountain landscape and lead them into the everyday life of living. The settlement principle is based on the idea that dwellings are also devices of contemplation and environmental selection. dell’abitare quel luogo. Il sito del progetto si trova a Cotronei, nel parco della Sila, e partecipa di un sistema ambientale che conserva i caratteri del paesaggio primigenio dell’interno della Calabria, ancora in equilibrio con gli elementi dell’antropizzazione. Il progetto si è offerto come un’opportunità per raccogliere gli elementi originari del paesaggio montano crotonese e condurli all’interno della quotidianità dell’abitare. Il principio insediativo si fonda sull’idea che le abitazioni siano anche dispositivi di contemplazione e selezione ambientale.

Conditioned by a modelling carried out before the project, the soil is articulated in terraces that, through the concretion of the edge, are given as podiums of the inhabited wall box. The terraced gardens are conceived as successive horizons that allow you to gain privileged views within the park. The routes that cross it are also designed as elements to enhance some perceptive relationships, through two systems that allow the use of the outdoor space: one parallel to the terraces that establishes a relationship with the adjacent wooded area; the other transversal, characterized by small intrusions on the retaining walls, which relates the outer space with the access points of the houses, assigning depth and plasticity to the fronts. The vegetation is extremely simple. The terraces are crowned with shrubs that replace the balustrades, while the edges to the east and west are occupied by tree-lined masses that mediate the relationship with the forest system on the one hand and with a hospital on the other.



conformation _ The houses are designed according to the same shape: the terracing is shaped to be an introverted base, on which rests a plastic volume. The basal plane presents itself with a strong materiality, which declares its membership in the geological world and expresses the topographical character of the project. The tectonics of the building here is expressed through the stone cladding, arranged in layers as if it arose from a fault in which you can read the signs of sedimentation. The resulting spatiality is of an archetypal cavity in the rock, characterized by a slight and rarefied plasticity.

House 1 – La Ribelle, perspective section.

plasticity _ The wall box resting on the base is presented as a clear anthropic manifestation in dialectical relationship with nature. Specifically, plastic connotation is underlined by the chiaroscuro definition of the facades, which play with the sunlight anticipating outside the spatial organization of the inhabited interior. The continuous change of depth of the facades defines places of mediation and intersection between external and internal. The two houses differ for the theme of their crowning: the house at the lowest altitude in fact has a flat roof that participates in the horizons of the terraces in the background. The one at higher altitude instead, is united to the sky with a pitched roof, where the background is now defined by the environmental system only. Both houses develop on three levels articulated around a central void, which crosses them entirely to culminate with skylights. The basement space, in both cases, expands to define a court, on which overlook extra-ordinary activities compared to housing standards: a multifunctional space, a partially uncovered pool and an outbuilding.

These parts of the house are achieved through the courtyard, activating a perceptive and spatial continuity that amplifies the phenomenal depth of the basement space, leading to a strong interpenetration between the outside and the inside. The white wall box rests on the base houses – the part for the “traditional” activities of the house – with the living area on the noble floor, in direct spatial relationship with the terraces, and the sleeping area on the second level. All the interior spaces of the houses are characterized by an exclusive and unique relationship with the surrounding, establishing a landscape that is always different depending on the way the wall box is compromised.

House 2 – La Curiosa, perspective section.

light and space _ The internal spatiality is substantiated by a control of natural light through openings and skylights. The general theme is that of a gradual transition from a more dramatic light to the basement floor, up to an almost total luminous immersion as you cross the building vertically.
The connection between the parts of the house is determined according to a principle of continuity between the rooms, which, mingling with each other, activate simultaneous perspectives on different spaces. The general principle that governs the spatial composition of the two houses is declined according to two different systems of objectification. In the case of the house with horizontal coverage, a shift in volume compared to the supporting structure, discovers the frame that produces spatial amplification in the three dimensions. The central void of the pitched house is activated by a staircase that runs through the three levels. In both cases, the inner cavity of the wall box acquires a more “phenomenal” value than the base, and the metric and proportional scanning becomes evident. The houses, configured this way, are given to their inhabitants as devices from which to select fragments of the external world.


Bodàrbottega d’architettura is an architecture studio and a cultural program within the architectural discipline, which adopts the project as a research device around the idea of form and complexity of the space and the language derived from it. The design activity of the studio is carried out in the operative character of the workshop, in which creative production is the main explanatory act of thought. Bodàr is founded in 2003 and has had different configurations, who have seen the comparison of architects deriving from the same training. Since 2015, the group consists of Francesco Messina, Giuseppe Messina and Marco Messina.

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