In Vignolo, in the Stura Valley in Northen Italy, a large wooden house with large glass openings emerges from the ground like a sprout emerging from the beech, chestnut and birch woods. In the distance, you can see the Bisalta and Monviso mountains, opposite the valley opens up.
Open architecture, in synergy with the landscape, the project by architect Dario Castellino created by Rubner Haus has transformed the limitations imposed by the conformation of the land into opportunities (of beauty). The structure of the house has been so subverted – sabotaged –so that nature is free to become part of it.
“We wanted to ‘capure’ in every room, especially in the long living room with kitchen, the fluid shapes of nature that surrounds us” tell the owners Emiliano and Lorena, the third generation of a family that works and trades mushrooms and truffles.
“The house rests delicately on the soft slope, without invading or oppressing, rather, as if to merge with the ground”, explains the architect Dario Castellino. “We could have contained it with reinforced concrete terraces, but this was certainly not the goal, we rather wanted the project to enhance the area and for the greenery to envelop the house”.
The house was born on a portion of land originally occupied by two structures whose profile – together with that of the old brick farmhouse that has been recovered – has been maintained in the gabled roofs of the two rectangular bodies that make up the house: one to the south, characterized by long windows and intended for the living area, the other to the north, to accommodate the bedrooms and connected to the first by a passage that forms a central body closed to the outside view and where the services are , like the bathrooms and the laundry room.
The concept of the project on the one hand is inspired by the owner's passion for architecture and the typical philosophy of Japanese homes, on the other hand it draws on the characteristic lines of mountain homes.
From the oriental inspiration, the building draws the delicacy and balance of the structure that does not impose itself, but adapts itself to the landscape, resting docilely on the slope of the valley. Three long fully glazed walls in the body of the building welcome all the light (and the shadow) of the hill, “without the all-western need to flush out the last particle of shadow with lamps” as the Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki wrote.
The long wooden beams are born from the alpine inspiration. The living room is a long nave that leads to the kitchen, opening onto the terrace overlooking endless fields and where, once again, a solution that does not stop the eye has been chosen: a thin railing of steel cables on a structure that appears suspended in the air.
Japan returns to the sliding French doors that like shoji – vertical panels mounted on grooves in the floor and in the lintel – allow an uninterrupted relationship with external spaces.
A wrought iron pergola joins the main structure to the completely renovated old farmhouse. The roof of the building was rebuilt with the trunks of the old buildings, cleaned and restored, as well as the bricks and fixtures returned to new life.
For the construction of the house, Rubner Haus, a Rubner Group company specializing in single and two-family houses, has brought all its experience in construction but also in respect of people's health and the environment, devising cutting-edge solutions.
Among the many sustainable innovations of Rubner Haus, radon-proof insulated foundation slabs, insulating materials such as cork and wood fiber certified IBR (Institute für Baubiologie Rosenheim), breathable wooden walls that trigger natural ventilation through the continuous exchange of humidity with the external environment. And again, resins such as natural glues and controlled mechanical ventilation systems to maintain a high quality of the air by expelling the stale one and introducing it again after having previously filtered it from pollutants.