Among the vineyards of South Tyrol, a dwelling with vernacular materials.
MoDusArchitects by Sandy Attia and Matteo Scagnol signs the private residence Casa Visibilio, located in Oltradige (Bolzano), in an area with a strong agricultural and wine vocation.
Set at the north end of a long, narrow lot and clad in elongated, slender handmade bricks in dark, light, sandy gray tones, Casa Visibilio looks like a unique dwelling when viewed from the outside, but it actually conceals two independent units and is spread over three floors (one basement and two above ground), with a succession of domestic environments offering a plurality of experiences.
The architecture of Casa Visibilio
Visibilio House draws from the elevations of old barns: the rhythm of solids and voids in the texture of the masonry forms a compositional play of light and shadow; it is an architectural artifact that blends craftsmanship knowledge with sophisticated technologies, heterogeneous textures and traditional lexicons that reinterpret traditional building principles and forms and excavations of the South Tyrolean farmhouse, the underground cellar, and the large indoor wood stove.
“Ellsworth Kelly’s scythe, trellis, abstract reliefs and layered drawings, and other artworks form an eclectic set of references that fuse the agrarian heritage of the place with distant contexts. All these elements create a play of complementary forces generated by the lines and curves that underlie the formal and spatial quality of the design” tell Sandy Attia and Matteo Scagnol, co-founders of MoDusArchitects.
The interior and exterior
Also used in the entrance recess lining and shaped handles on entrance doors, thesteel marks the transition from the outside to the inside of the house and enlivens the elevations in the window lintels, balcony balustrades, full-height screens placed in front of some of the windows, and in the profile of the canal-fountain in the entrance plaza.
Theentrance intimate and linear is bordered by the elm wood wardrobe and the main staircase that leads to the main living spaces: the double-height living room serves as the hub for the floor plan, with the open kitchen, dining area, equipped with a breakfast patio, guest quarters, study, and media room revolving all around. The back wall of the kitchen in elm and burnished metal is a connecting element between the wooden cladding of the living room and the monolithic porphyry island.
In the basement, the terracotta floor with square format complements the clay and earthenware finish of the walls; on the ground floor, the light-colored aggregates of the terrazzo floor relate to the fireplace wall, embellished with fragments of Lasa stone and mother-of-pearl. With its sculptural profile and inlaid cladding of multicolored aggregates that glow in the sunlight, the fireplace evokes the intimate and cozy dimension typical of the “stube.”
Special attention is paid to the texture of surfaces in the furnishings designed ad hoc by MoDusArchitects: the central staircase is conceived as a separate piece of furniture that connects the three levels of the house. The tripartite steel frame structure of the staircase is buffered by a rope weave, made directly by the client, which creates an interplay of opacity and transparency.
In the center of the gallery is an upholstered alcove, envisioned as a reading nook. From here there is access to the children’s sleeping area and laundry room, and on the other side to a small library and master suite with private bathroom and terrace.
In the basement, a second entrance leads to the garage, the owner’s workshop, cellar, hobby room, and various utility and storage spaces. With a central staircase on the entry area, an exedra lit from above, and access to the rock garden from the living room, sunlight illuminates the house.
Visibilio House, a sustainability project
Guiding the design of Casa Visibilio was environmental sustainability: photovoltaic panels cooperating with the geothermal system, combination of radiant floor and ceiling systems for heating and cooling, mechanically controlled ventilation system that also provides room dehumidification, rainwater collection then used for irrigation of green areas, garden and home garden.
By integrating low- and high-tech solutions, Casa Visibilio, with an overall efficiency of 2 kg CO2/m2a and a focus on the use of natural and sustainable materials, has earned the highest level of CasaClima Gold Nature certification, which rewards the eco-friendliness of the materials and systems used in the construction and the building’s water impact.