Appiano, Caldaro, Termeno, Ora, Cortaccia: the South Tyrolean Wine Route is one of the oldest in Italy. It takes off in Nalles, continues to Bolzano until it reaches Salorno, on the border with Trentino. It was the Greeks, in 500 BC, who brought to these latitudes the knowledge relating to wine, subsequently the Romans contributed to the spread of the vine. 249 hectares of land dedicated to the cultivation of grapes, 16 municipalities and about 80 wineries that produce Lagrein, Gewürztraminer, Vernatsch, Pinot, Sauvignon, Müller-Thurgau.
Just outside Bolzano, in Appiano, among the linear rows of vineyards at the foot of the Mendola, Casa P2 welcomes the beneficial rays of the sun on its glass facades. A two-family residential unit, in which three generations live together under the same roof. If a drone were to buzz over the area it would be possible to notice a large letter “T” that characterizes the landscape: two parallel volumes on which a transverse volume rests.
Designed by Studio monovolume of Bolzano, founded in 2003 by Jury Pobitzer and Patrik Pedó who met during their studies on the benches of the University of Innsbruck, it is inspired in the concept by the nature that surrounds it: for the base of the villa and the wall of Monticolo porphyry was used, a local stone used in architecture for over 2,500 years; the upper volume opens onto the landscape with a bronze metal facade which, at the height of the terraces, is transformed into a mobile screen whose design recalls the rows of nearby vineyards.
The new housing unit stands on the land of a pre-existing which has been completely demolished and rebuilt. “After the first phase of demolition up to the ground floor, we wanted to respect the owner's premise, which is the desire to remain bound to the pre-existing static conditions”, explains architect Patrik Pedó. "In the new house, the game of the mirror is linked to the duplication of the elements starting from the two residential units, with two hidden autonomous entrances, two hidden outdoor spaces, two gardens with corresponding spaces for animals, on one side cats and in the other turtles, and the texture of the sliding facade that alternates between one module and another ".
In the middle, a natural element, the cypress, crosses the ground floor and rises up to the loggia, projecting itself towards the sky. The portion under the street level houses the cellar and agricultural tools. The upper floors are linked to the time of living: on the ground floor the living area with kitchen and living room, on the upper level the sleeping area.
“Our challenge was to reproduce the surrounding landscape on the façade as well. On the first floor, the bronze metal facade plays on an alternation between solids and voids, lights and shadows, matter and light, all filtered by an interwoven texture that refers to the vineyards that surround the area ", continues Patrik. The sliding terrace of the upper floor leaves the possibility of maintaining privacy, and once open to glimpse the mountains on the horizon. "We wanted to assign the leading role to color, playing on the context of the colors of the earth, with the porphyry on the façade and in the enclosure wall, and the white of the plaster in the upper part that rises towards the blue of the sky."
If the challenge was to design and build a building that respected the genius loci in dialogue with the landscape, it has been won. With particular attention, as usual in South Tyrol, to energy saving, to the impact on the environment, on the health and well-being of the people who live in the house. Casa P2 is classified as Casa Clima A Nature which introduces an objective assessment of the eco-compatibility of the materials and systems used in the construction and the water impact of the building. To guarantee the comfort and healthiness of the rooms, specific requirements are required for the quality of the indoor air, for natural lighting, for acoustic comfort and for protection from radon gas.
Photo e video credits: Giovanni De Sandre
A special thanks to Klimahouse, the International Fair for energy efficiency and sustainability in construction held every year at the end of January at Fiera Bolzano (this year, due to a pandemic, from 18 to 21 May), which organized the visit at Casa P2 as part of a tour last November.