Casa Crotta (2015) by Massimo Galeotti Architetto located in Arfanta, Italy | The Hardt
Casa Crotta (2015) by Massimo Galeotti Architetto located in Arfanta, Italy. Built by a Venetian noble family (e.g. Crotta) Casa Crotta, (former Dalle Crode, Tibolet) is likely an ancient hunting lodge of the XVII century. The house is part of the Regional Institute of Venetian Villas list and is situated in Arfanta’s hamlet, between the Tarzo’s hills, and is the first of series of rural buildings right in front of the municipal road. From a typological perspective, two distinctive floors compose the house but the habitative one is at the top. This is a characteristic that well explains the type of use for which the building was originally built (hunting lodge) because the house used to be exploited occasionally for few hours a day. The conservation status of the house required a major intervention before compromising its functionality.
Specific maintaining interventions have been complemented by the realization of entirely new architectural elements. In order to make the building’s use habitable and comfortable on both the ground floor and the first floor, there was a slight but significant redistribution of space. An indelicate and superfluous volume recently added, has been recovered by transforming it into the new kitchen, while two bathrooms have been created, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor. During the restoration, all the terracotta and stone materials have been recovered, entirely cleaned and subsequently reutilized. The restoration will take several stages and it provides the recovery of the stone tower adjacent to the building and the redesign of an outdoor pergola used as a garage and storage too.
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Vacation Home of Ludovica & Roberto Palomba by Palomba Serafini located near, Puglia, Italy | The Hardt
Vacation Home of Ludovica & Roberto Palomba by Palomba Serafini located near, Puglia, Italy. PalombaSerafini’s, beautifully designed vacation home near Lecce, Puglia, is exactly how one would imagine the ideal, whitewashed Italian country house, romantically existing between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea’s coasts. Although the designers weren’t searching for such a property, when a friend took them to the house, which had stood abandoned for thirty years, they immediately understood its potential. “We loved the space at first sight and in a few minutes the project was born,” Roberto tells us as he enthusiastically scrolls through images of the house on his phone when we met with him in Milan. Constructed in the 1600’s as an oil mill, at the time the Palomba’s first saw it, the quirky 400 m² building possessed all the characteristics that would seem to make it unappealing to the less forward thinking—including fire-blackened tuff ceilings, steep sloping walls and indoors spaces immersed in darkness. But they didn’t see it that way. “It was really exciting upon first entering this house,” Roberto says. “With its walls reaching over six meters in height and its wide indoor spaces that were created by thick columns.”
They discovered most of the construction materials used in the remodel in the “poetic” Salento area. Thanks to the innate skills of local artisans the whole architectural remodel was completed in a mere five months. “We renovated with minimal work,” Roberto shares adding that he and Ludovica tapped into their backgrounds in architecture—they met in Rome while studying the craft 23 years ago—for this project. “We didn’t add any new walls so as to not break up the existing spaces; we used local stones for the floors and whitewash for the walls.” The greatest challenge they faced in this particular remodel was figuring out how to bring more natural light into the fortress-like structure as “it was illuminated only by oil lamps,” says Roberto. The problem was solved by digging a series of skylights throughout and opening up the back of the building to allow the sun in.
Throughout, the natural-toned furnishings consist of both items made especially for the house, such as the fixtures, doors and iron lamps (which were made by local craftsmen) and the Karpeta carpets, as well as items taken from the Palomba’s extensive collaborations with well-known, Italian and international, design companies (“We have to design more ‘Italian’ for international companies, and be more ‘international’ in our designs for the Italian companies,” he jokes). These include the EL_01 and SLIM by Elmar kitchen; the living room’s Altopiano sofa and Lama chaise-longue by Zanotta (this particular variation was customized in straw with a red structure); and the Paraggi Camp Bed and colored coffee tables by Exteta on the terrace, all of which were designed by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba for the various, respective companies.
“We used the natural materials, the white lime, and the local stone textures as the only decorations, all of which express our idea of conceptual simplicity and honesty,” Roberto says. “No matter what we design, our designs are always ‘free’ in the sense that we are always curious and consistently challenge ourselves. If somebody wants to understand us then they have to live in our architecture,” he says noting that this personal home project is one through which their greater interior design vision is perfectly exemplified. The result is a house that provides the busy duo with a place of much needed, “personal decompression… physical and mental. We knew exactly the result we wanted to achieve and it all happened in a very fluid way. It’s actually been a great honor to design something for ourselves,” Roberto shares, while in the next breath extending a very generous invitation to visit and see for ourselves. We don’t think anybody could refuse such an invitation and find ourselves wondering when the next train to Puglia is leaving from Milano Centrale…
Photo by Francesco Bolis
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Casa O by Atelier dos Remedios located in Bom Sucesso, Óbidos, Portugal | The Hardt
Casa O by Atelier dos Remedios located in Bom Sucesso, Óbidos, Portugal. With the desire of a central distribution space in the 2,045 ft² (190 m²) home and with the fulfillment of all the lines previously mentioned, we accede to this house by an entrance collected and between two bodies arranged with a 10º angle between them. A first 50cm lower entry space gives access to the distribution space par excellence through 3 steps. In the central hall are all the distribution spaces and directions pointed, it is a centrifugal space although endowed with a supplement of “superfluous” area that allows the informality of meetings, activities occupations etc. “We draw a longitudinal line, with the direction East / West, at the midpoint of the width of the lot. It was a desire for an occupation in extension, allowing the maintenance of a free area parallels to the construction with the same dimensions of this one. We leaned to the extreme East with 3m of distance, the area of constructed area, in the assumption of assigning to the Nascent facade the place of the rooms and the facade. the North top is occupied by the entrance and parking and the South top by the kitchen. The occupation of the kitchen in the southeast quadrant, in a privileged place of the house, was not a consequence but of an attribution to this space, which is demonstrated of the most inhabited in the familiar daily life, of an unusual situation, more comfortable and more central of the house.
We decided to separate the living room from the dining room and arrange them in a spatial relationship between them and in which both share the same outer space. In this way we can not occupy the Southwest quadrant of the house, giving it a covered patio that is on one side splits the building allowing South and West light entrances inside the dwelling, on the other, it restores the construction unit to the level of the coverage that will cover social spaces. Another conceptual decision pointed to the distribution of spaces in this house. We wanted the suite to become the haven for its future owners. In this way, we make it the most outstanding element of this construction, which is at a high level compared to the rest of the house, what is sought – the place where you go. On the other hand, we play with the subversion of this value when we touch the terrace area of the pool and make of its façade the background of this, it is a programmatic restoration of community meaning that regulated this whole project.
With the desire of a central distribution space and with the fulfillment of all the lines previously mentioned, we accede to this house by an entrance collected and stuck between two bodies arranged with a 10º angle between them. A first 50cm lower entry space gives access to the distribution space par excellence through 3 steps. In the central hall are all the distribution spaces and directions pointed, it is a centrifugal space although endowed with a supplement of “superfluous” area that allows the informality of meetings, activities occupations etc. Access to the bedrooms, suite, living room, toilet, laundry and kitchen through rooms arranged on both sides of this central hall, the dining room being the only exception to this rule and that will have direct access on the opposite end of the entrance into the dwelling, at the narrowest point of the hall.
The body of the suite and living room had a rotation of 10 ° from the original alignment (N / S) in order to establish a visual escape from the dining room body and on the other hand define more concisely living areas in the garden, namely sitting area in front of the patio, area in front of the living room and pool area. The whole house bets on an architecture of volumes, which cause spaces enclosed in themselves but in the composition between them will provoke ambiguous spaces of interior/exterior that will bring a unique arrangement of space and natural lighting.
© Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
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