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 N/S in Bergamo, Italy by dep studio – architettura e design
April 4th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: dep studio – architettura e design
Casa N/S lies in the immediate vicinity of the old town of a village in the province of Bergamo. The plot is located in an area characterized by buildings without any great architectonic value, something that has made the architects decide to distinguish the building from its surroundings. The customer’s desire to build a home to leave to his children in the future has led to the realization of a building with two identical and independent units that share a number of facilities, as the tavern, the cellars, the garage and the garden.
The symmetry and formal rigour that characterize the architectonic composition and the use of authentic materials that bear witness to the passing of time reflect the personal requirements, dreams and character of the customers. The plan is determined by the more or less square form of the plot and by the demand for private, autonomous and independent areas united to one another by communal spaces.
Four towers emerge from the surrounding tissue, being two floors taller than the latter, giving the whole plan a strong formal rigour: contemporary towers that serve to protect the private areas, but that have little to do with their Medieval ancestors, the compact masonry having been replaced by large windows, apparently arranged in an arbitrary manner.
These monoliths are placed in the corners of a square that forms the plan of the entire dwelling; from a formal point of view they assume the leading role, almost as if they were small buildings within the building. From an operational point of view the roles are swapped; the central area is transformed in an “internal square” where the most important public and representative activities take place, while private activities are moved to the spares inside the towers.
The central volume has a roof with two pitches in laminated wood that is distinguished from those of the four vertical elements, and seems dematerialized by large full height windows that create close bonds with the garden outside. This area, the true fulcrum of the dwelling, also contains the structures connecting the three floors, the stairs and the lift.
A double-height bookcase is placed against one wall; it rises from the ground floor to the one above, passing through a gallery that connects the private areas on the first floor. The towers are perfectly perceptible also from the inside of the shared spaces, and can be reached through the openings in the masonry formed by sliding doors that disappear into the walls; they reach the ceiling and feature no elements that interfere with the clean lines characterizing the whole.
In terms of building technology the construction of the towers in reinforced concrete, which has been left in view, has called for careful planning: a single continuous cast with the use of formwork made from phenolic panels to achieve a smooth surface without any joints.
Every surface has been carefully studied during the planning phase, to enable the construction firm to have precise details on the form work that had to be built, the openings, the size of windows and doors and the altitudes already when ordering the materials. Unlike other materials, concrete has a very textural surface which, sometimes also thanks to faults during the casting, bears witness to authenticity and honesty.