Glass House

Completely transparent to the landscape, the house stands on one of the hills of Basso Monferrato.  A refuge that combines the hospitality of a 5-star hotel suite with principles of sustainable design

 

Project Carlo Maria Caire – Studio di architettura Caire
Photos David Zanardi – Article Laura Ragazzola

 

The extraordinary beauty of the hills that extend towards the horizon fills the gaze. Streets, houses, people seem to fade before the grandeur of the landscape, which has become part of the prestigious World Heritage List of UNESCO.

The house, resting on a slight rise, also seems to vanish in the greenery, existing in symbiosis with nature and taking part in the silence of this corner of Monferrato. We are a few kilometers away from Casale, the historic capital of this territory set between the better-known localities of the Langhe and Lomellina, where vineyards run up and down the hillsides, punctuated by small villages and castles.

The landscape is the proving ground of this project: a guesthouse, completely in glass, a work of architecture that seems to contain the forest, taking part in the changing seasons and the passage of the hours of the day and night. The design is by the architect Carlo Maria Caire for Dream&Charme, a company specializing in the hospitality sector, offering unconventional experiences for over 12 years now. The latest is the one provided by the Glass Houses.

“The first one,” says Giorgio Caire di Lauzet, founder and president of the Milan-based company, “was built amidst the hills of Monferrato one year ago (seen on these pages, ed.) as a prototype of the house of the future: a super-suite that offers a unique opportunity for a symbiotic relationship with nature, while being 100% ecosustainable.

Furthermore, we are working to make our Glass Houses ‘responsive,’ ready to interpret or even forecast the needs of the owner, as an expert butler would,” Caire di Lauzet concludes. In short, an ‘experiential’ house for a weekend or a special stay, which establishes a dialogue with the landscape, reducing the indoor-outdoor threshold to a minimum, but also a house that listens to people, their needs and expectations, to guarantee maximum comfort and wellbeing.

The suite is a prefabricated module that can be disassembled and recycled, whose construction is free of environmental impact. Besides the sustainable construction methods, the materials also make the difference: large thermal and soundproofed glazings fit perfectly into the elevations, with a load-bearing structure in iron, while the infill and roof are made with composite materials.

Sophisticated home automation systems with voice commands adjust the curtains of the glass facades, creating different daytime and nighttime scenarios, for different seasons, with an eye on maximum climate comfort. The house then, rather than an inert enclosure, becomes an interactive structure that converses with nature and guests, in a double symbiotic bond.

The 70 square meters of the interior are organized in a living-kitchen area, a bedroom with a bathroom and spa (sauna and Turkish bath). The house is modular and can expand its spaces to adapt to different needs.

The most important brands of Made in Italy take turns in the furnishings, rounded out by the know-how of international companies for the climate control and home automation systems. On the roof photovoltaic panels of the latest generation contribute to make the house self-sufficient in terms of energy.

The next step? “A resort made only with Glass Houses of the latest generation,” Caire di Lauzet explains.