Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Casa Locarno in Solduno, Switzerland by Designyougo (rendered using Maxwell)
October 30th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Designyougo – Architects and Designers
The site for this five bedroom house is located in Solduno, an old village with traditional stone clad roofs, close to Locarno, Switzerland. The amazing setting between the mountains and the lake gives the site a clear orientation with the main views towards Ascona and the lake “Lago Maggiore” to the front, and the steep mountains to the back.
The house opens itself up towards the valley, embracing the great panorama, while the backside of the house is dug into the mountain. The desire to add sufficient external shading to the facades lead to a large cantilever of the roof and the Skyframe. The Skyframe will eventually be filled in with ranking wine and other plants as well as textile sun shading elements. Using plants offers the benefit of increased day lighting levels during wintertime.
Organisation of the building
The different levels of the building all focus on the panoramic views they get. The living room and kitchen open up to the west terrace which offers a view of the lake and gets the afternoon and evening sun. The living room includes a separate space for the grand piano.
Design and Materials
The larch wood Skyframe, fascia and Attica panels dominate the appearance of the building, giving it a warm and natural general appearance. The larch wood has been left untreated and will weather naturally. The detailing of the Skyframe includes inclined top surfaces to ensure good water drainage. The façade panels in between are either glass or fibre reinforced concrete panels, the latter in three shades of blue, complementing the reflections of the windows and harmonizing nicely in dusk lighting. The interior design takes up external materials with oak wood flooring and is else kept simple with a modern look and feel. The ground floor features full length bespoke corridor furniture, starting as bookshelf and cupboards and integrating the kitchen at the other end.
With its full height glass balustrade and solid oak steps, the slender steel frame stair is more a light object between the kitchen and the entrance.
The house has been designed (and insulated) to low energy standards and no conventional heating has been installed. Instead, there are only solar collectors on the roof, providing energy for the low temperature under floor heating and most of the year also for hot water. During the cold and cloudy winter days, additional energy is generated through a heat exchange incorporated in the fireplace. Energy from the solar collectors is being preserved in a 4000L water tank in the basement.
Due to limited accessibility of the site, walls and ceilings were prefabricated and flown on site by helicopter. A timber frame construction has been chosen to allow large parts within the weight limits of the helicopter. Prefabrication also allows for a high degree of computer aided control over the design, a benefit when working on a project abroad.