The Hermitage of Silence by the architect Lorena Alessio, the new frontier of sustainable architecture

Flexible, autonomous, self-sufficient: these are the main characteristics of the Hermitage of Silence of Montiglio in the Asti area, a project in progress by the architect Lorena Alessio, commissioned on the initiative of the Salus Hominis Foundation which envisages the construction of a structure where the Guest will be able to live an experience in contact with nature, in total privacy and isolating himself in silence, in a place that invites meditation.

The Eremo del Silenzio is a structure without foundations positioned on the ground thanks to metal roots to allow it to be moved easily, made with poplar plywood, a very light material that goes well with the aim of making it flexible.

Over the years, architect Lorena Alessio has continued the study of innovative poplar buildings using structural plywood without screws, through the creation of an interlocking joint system called PoplyHouse.

After the success achieved following the creation of the showroom of the company E. Vigolungo s.p.a, manufacturer of poplar plywood panels, which won the first prize AESS, Agency for Energy and Sustainable Development of Modena – as a new sustainable building and the publication of the book “Designing with structural plywood. From Accupoli to PoplyHouse”, published at the end of 2021, here is the first embodiment of the Poplyhouse system with the Hermitage of Silence.

A completely autonomous and self-sufficient building thanks to photovoltaic energy, solar energy, water collection and a battery to be used in case of energy need, which recalls a profound religious symbolism in its external and internal design, reinterpreted in a contemporary key typical Romanesque architecture of the area.

As in Romanesque architecture, the 25 m2 structure turns its “apse” towards the east to capture the morning light. The decision to arrange the living spaces on the south side is linked to the need to enjoy the light and heat of the sun during the day. The place inside is the one most intended for meditation: a real “sancta sanctorum” in which the light comes from above and from the various sides of the building in a different and enveloping way.

Inside the hermitage, the space is open and bright, with sliding walls and partitions in transparent fiberglass mesh that create light effects that recall those of a church.

The Hermitage is accessed via an entrance designed with a special staircase which can also have a seating function to contemplate the surrounding beauties and enjoy contact with the external landscape.

The Eremo del Silenzio is part of the larger “PoplyHouse” project, which proposes a new constructive solution for modular structures, suitable for different functions.

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Maria Mele
After 39 years working in Sales and Communication for one of the most prominent Insurance Group worldwide, I presently dedicate my time to what I like best: fine arts and literature, passionately looking for the beauty that surrounds me.

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