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.
Paramount Residence Alma in Toblach, Italy by Plasma Studio
August 16th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Plasma Studio
The interior of this family home is characterized by 360-degree views. Perhaps the most spectacular of these being a view of the sky through an incision over the central stair. This opening delivers an immediate reading of exterior weather conditions, collecting precipitation and receiving direct sunlight.
The main living spaces are split over two floors with first floor bedrooms off a skylit corridor, and an open plan kitchen, dining and family room encircling a fireplace on the second floor. By grouping functional elements in orthogonal cores, the surrounding space is liberated. The exterior walls of the main living spaces collapse inwards to catch light, views and varying degrees of enclosure.
All living spaces in the private residence have direct access to the outside through a series terraces or gardens. Its multiple access points include: a main entrance through an internal connection to the neighbouring house, a series of openings that follow the natural topography, and an external stair connecting the third floor terrace to the garden. Each inhabitant has come to find their own favourite route.
Limited material and colour palettes give strength to the space, with splashes of colour in the children’s washroom. The otherwise white walls provide a backdrop for an ever-changing display of shadows from the pleated roof above.
As the extension sits within the steep topography, substructural elements were developed in reinforced concrete, while the superstructure was built from prefabricated cross laminated timber (CLT) insulated with wood fiber and sealed with black bitumen. The outer skin in larch wood strips on a galvanized steel structure was determined according to cost and aesthetics by the aforementioned parametric model. A consistently limited colour code was applied to the exterior, allowing the volume to dissolve into the surrounding hillside when viewed from afar.
Through its use of form, materials and views, this newly completed addition flirts with its context at three scales. The first, and most immediate, with its host: as an addition to the Alma residence, it shares a newly renovated core, carrying the fractal geometry from the roof down to Plasma’s Italian office through the Alma’s cartesian skeleton. The second, with its neighbour: together the Strata and the Alma define the next generation of the family-owned hotel complex. And finally, with its terrain: the sculptural addition acts, not as a parasite, but as a mediator between the existing house and surrounding topography, extending from the landscape like a lichen.
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