The colors of the lake, the ripples of the water and the lights of new iridescent ceramics sculpt the houses like stones designed by the architect Marco Casamonti, co-founder of the firm Archea Associati in Laveno Mombello, on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
A tribute to genius-loci and made in Italy, between the ancient pottery factory of Pozzi-Ginori, whose memory remains in the wall facing the lake, and the neighboring villa designed by Piero Portaluppi with accents of the indefinable and unmistakable Blu Laveno. The symbolic color of this place intertwines past, present and future, culture, design and ceramic art.
Four other international architectural firms - One Works , Cino Zucchi , Giampiero Peia and Olav Langenkamp - were called by Hans Martin Pohl to give their design interpretation on a high quality living in the lakefront compound surrounded by nature, the subject of the landscape intervention by the London studio Gustafson Porter + Bowman.
A ‘sculpted’ housing complex with a green vocation
At a broad glance, the buildings have the shape of stones carved by the lake. Cut and shaped, they are embellished and made iridescent by the use of granite and Laveno Blue ceramics. At the base of the Archea residences there is in fact the creation of volumes interpreted as 'stones': four carved stones whose 'holes' become lodges overlooking the surrounding landscape. An intervention in full respect of the environment: all the houses are built with the most advanced criteria of energy containment and a large underground car park ensures that the entire uncovered area is pedestrian. This is how a village on a human scale was born.
Where before there was an industrial area, now there is a housing complex with a green vocation and a futuristic design, in harmony with the surrounding nature, completely restored thanks to a reclamation work supported by the Pohl Immobilien group, a South Tyrolean reality that develops and implements sustainable real estate projects throughout Italy. The intervention thus represents a new piece of the city, located hinge between the public square upstream and the lakefront downstream, where residents can enjoy the view from large terraces and a private garden.
The details (and colors) of the project
Twenty-six housing units, from 50 to 130 square meters spread over a total area of 2,400 square meters . The architectural project was curated by architect Marco Casamonti, co-founder of the Archea Associati studio and holder of the chair of Architectural and Urban Design at the Polytechnic School of the University of Studies of Genoa.
The concept is inspired by the multiplicity of colors of the lake and by the Laveno Blue ceramic which is precisely Laveno Mombello was produced inside the ancient pottery factory Pozzi-Ginori, now reborn as a Hotel de Charme.
The concept explained by Marco Casamonti
“Building houses is the dream of every architect because the ultimate goal of the discipline of architecture is living” explains Marco Casamonti. “But the domestic space lives its intimacy in relation to its surroundings transforming itself into a garden of wonders - paradise - when the context, as in the case of Lake Maggiore, reveals that extraordinary beauty that leads to contemplation. Therefore, in the artifice of the construction we were looking for the vibration of the water just rippled by the breeze, when the lake and the sky, at sunset, form a whole. After all the drawing was already written by nature, it was enough to grasp its essence and give it the right interpretation”.
The chromatic aspect stands out unchallenged - iridescent, plastic and iridescent - which emphasizes the sculptural forms of the complex, in direct dialogue with the shades of the sky and the lake that seem to be mirrored. A tribute to that unmistakable blue, which recalls the history of Laveno, a center known for the manufacture of made in Italy ceramics, here is in fact the MIDeC - International Museum of Ceramic Design .
The ceramics were created specifically for Marco Casamonti's project by Botteganove with a work that took over a year of research and six months of testing before reaching a certified product . Here declined in a pattern of seven chromatic shades obtained with an artisan enamel finish on the single format of a convex pre-mold for a total of 3300 m2 of development.
The next area designed by Langenkamp
But Archea is only one of the pieces of Pohl Immobilien's project. By 2022, in fact, the next step will be completed: the houses designed by the Danish architect Olav Langenkamp. The new residence provides housing solutions with large panoramic loggias, covered terraces and wooden aerial pedestrian paths, designed to maximize the view towards the lake. Also in this case, the environment will guide the intervention: lake, mountains, nature and light will merge with the interiors.