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place  Bologna year 2020

urban villas






urban villas

The project involves the demolition of some existing buildings and the new construction of others for residential use, for a total of nine independent villas. The design proposal identifies a sort of residential-park, but also really a residence-park, considering the large areas of equipped and diffused greenery in which the new structures are inserted and which they enhance in their insertion with a direct comparison mediated only by the design choices. The decision to enhance the park was a determining factor in the choice of multi-storey volumetric solutions, both to limit the footprint on the ground and to allow the park itself to be seen from above (beyond the hedges and fences), at least in the main and best equipped part (west), through the pavements that are created (including the reading of the entire complex at a glance). The eastern part, on the other hand, remains more intimate; these are the “new houses” of the owners, required to have only one floor both for functional reasons (accessibility for the elderly) and for limited space requirements.

It goes without saying that in this way the green project, and even before that the land project, can be seen and understood not only by reading the drawings. A residence-landscape is planned. The aim of the project is also to achieve sustainability: environmental, economic, social and functional – perceptive – aesthetic, i.e. overall ecology; here the residence has a landscape dimension, not a peripheral or suburban one, in terms of scale, quality and aesthetics. We know that the project must always seek to correspond to man’s desires and aspirations, including aesthetic ones and those relating to the landscape, identity and character, rejection of anonymity and the condition of suburban periphery; including the desire for a new modern and “light” living that is in some people, but the theme from which the project must always start is Living.

general plan of the ground floors of the different residential types - single-storey and multi-storey villas.

In a certain sense we could say that suburban living acquires meaning and significance not as a subordinate of urban living (houses are cheaper and bigger but the environment is sad and services are far away), but as a conscious choice resulting from the recognition of the desire for an autonomous house that is beautiful and inserted in a landscape. This is why the references of the project layout derive from the local rural landscape: hedges, rows of trees, water, centuriation, low volumes, patios and courtyards, gardens, paths and not roads, pedestrian routes, open spaces, walls and low walls to delineate paths; “measuring” and orienting open space. The architecture is not so indifferent to the site and vice versa, in this sense a landscape project is structured, even if on a reduced scale.

The volumes of the buildings are simple and functional, sometimes of one level and sometimes of two levels, an opportunity to generate “cantilevered” volumes; all the villas have no basement. The layout follows the shape of the lot and the centurial orientation, allowing for the best views. In architectural terms, the project is certainly contemporary, not only in its materials and technological choices, but also in its typological choice, for an up-to-date and particularly high-quality urban lifestyle, while at the same time avoiding falling into the “classic” model of the “terraced house”.

The first “intention” is to be read in the intention of the villas, and in its horizontal rather than vertical development. This choice immediately leads to the second, to be found in the extensiveness of the greenery and in making it the first and prevailing image in the approach to the lot. The buildings are substantially “low”, and emerge from an intensive green arrangement, which corresponds to the idea of a completely “sustainable” intervention, also supported by the use of wood as an external finishing material to fence and emphasise the various lots.

In this way, “heat islands” are completely avoided (thanks to the greenery and the lack of both horizontal and vertical reflective materials). In addition, the colours and finishes have been chosen to avoid glare, but rather to help dampen both the heat, absorbing it, and the related feeling of discomfort. The project is conceived with the aim of pursuing a passive type of energy-environmental response, trying to limit the use of active plant technologies (energy gain), which are in any case foreseen, all in order to obtain the volumetric bonus related to the requirements of excellence.


GBa_studio works in the area of urban and architectural design, dealing with research and multi-specialist and multi-level design, often pushed to the executive detail and always aimed at the realization of the work, including through the management of works. The project is always understood as a practice of thought, marked by a critical and propositional method; as an intellectual practice (much more than a disciplinary one), it is constantly investigated in theory as well.

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