Luca Zanaroli Architect restore unusual home in Southern Italy
The objectives for the restoration project were clear: to enhance the historic and representative character of the building, the traditions and local lifestyles, rearrange and interpret various elements in a contemporary way. The purpose was to have a simple and bucolic style but at the same time create a warm and comfortable atmosphere.
It was also necessary to make the entire construction process compatible with the area, through the use of local materials, traditional construction techniques and making the building as self-sufficient as possible. The building makes use of renewable resources in regard to the energy saving.
The shell of the building, completely made of dry-stone walls, regulates its inner temperature in both summer and winter. In addition, the several little openings placed according to the prevailing winds gently illuminates the inner parts of the rooms and provides an effective and constant natural ventilation.
All the interiors have been joined by long corridors dug out of the thick walls joining the different level floors through slightly inclining ramps to emphasise the idea of spatial continuity. The intention was to avoid any clear interruption or sharp corners and to reduce the vertical partitions to a minimum, so that as much light and air as possible can flow in. The interior surfaces, the floors treated with cementicious mortar and the plaster made from lime and tufa, bind the different volumes and gently reflect the natural light.
The rainwater, collected through artificial canals in a large tank dug into the rock, is reused for both domestic use and to irrigate the fields. The natural surrounding environment is an integral part of the quality and the identity of the place. Light and air constitute the essence of space; the built environment and are part of a single architectural space.