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 Francavilla in Modica, Italy by Studio GUM
December 24th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Studio GUM
Modica, like other historical centers of the Val di Noto, owes its special urban configuration to the uncommon nature of the area, combined with the various phenomena of human activity. Many of the homes found in the old part of town are attached homes, and are often an extension to the ancient caves, inhabited since prehistoric times.
Casa Francavilla is located in Modica Alta, one of the oldest neighborhoods of the town, with origins that can be traced back to the seventeenth century, a period of reconstruction due to the earthquake of 1693.
The floor plan of the house, an ‘L’ shape covering a total area of 53 square meters, was originally a series of dark rooms, with vaulted ceilings that led to a spacious and bright environment.
The main objective of the design is to have the maximum amount of light in all the rooms of the house.
For this purpose two dividing walls separating the central hallway and the sleeping area, already without windows, were demolished, and replaced by a single longitudinal partition which, together with two transparent walls transverse to it, delimits the bathroom, the only enclosed space in the entire house; the light comes from the entrance and spreads throughout the other environments.
In order to disengage the bedroom, a new passageway connecting to the living room was created, contributing to an increased intake of light. It is the furnishings and curtains that now define and give life to the rooms, creating different levels of privacy throughout the environments.
For example, the canopy bed defines the sleeping area, and in order to optimize space, a wooden platform was created to bring the original lower floor up to the level of the floor of the rest of the house. In this way the space inside this platform could be made into compartments and made functional.
The original floors in pitch stone were maintained and polished, preserving the imperfections and signs of time. The perimeter walls of stone were uncovered, consolidated and finished in lime plaster, while the rough surface of the plaster vaults was left exposed.
The wooden windows were made as replicas of the original ones, with minor reinterpretations and their color duplicated by the only inner door of the house, the bathroom door, which was actually recovered from the house itself.
Some elements of the furnishings, such as the kitchen and bathroom fittings were specifically designed with the idea of going back and making use of old materials and techniques, to better adapt to the limited size and give spatial flexibility.
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