Connection House for Google Maps

Carpignano Sesia / Italy / 2015

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The house at the edge of the woods in the days of Google Maps. This could be the title of a fairy tale for our great-grandchildren but, in fact, the roof covering of a single family home in Italian Carpignano Sesia, nearby Novara – at 70 km east from Milan - has been designed to be visible in aerial and satellite photographs, becoming a topographic landmark of the area.
At the edge of the large woodland area, the corrugated metal sheets – painted in different colours to emphasize trends in the cultivated plots and paddy fields – delineate the border of the small town of Piedmont encircled by the A26 motorway. The architects Valerio Maria Ferrari and Cinzia Mazzone (VMCF Atelier) considered this condition as a deterrent to future settlements, leading to the idea of a “connection” house that will remain to bear witness to the configuration of the territory.
Consisting of two trapezoidal buildings of different heights, connected to one another to form three open spaces, it restores and interprets several typical compositional features of open courtyard farmsteads, as seen in the surrounding landscape. Broken apart in this way, the buildings blend in better with the greenery and increase the southward-facing surface, thus favouring the accumulation of clean energy.
Echoing differences in cascina homestead organization dictated by the different functions of individual parts, the various spaces of the new building correspond to day and night time living requirements. The rooms can be found on a single level, but an attic in the living area and a loft in the sleeping area liven up the heights of the buildings and characterize the southern and northern facades.
In the latter case, access to the upper floor and to the roof is shielded by a light screen of bamboo stalks that soften the elegant precision of the exterior walls. These have been painted grey and are defined by a white graphic pattern of horizontal edges and vertical lines, which also features in the handrails and iron railings of the terrace.
The play of colours appears unexpectedly on the roof, where rectangular metal sheets within the trapezoids recapture, in addition to a top view of the farm plots, their local use as emergency covering for chicken coops and storage areas. It is quite true that this unprecedented contemporary farmstead will, for future memory, create a faithful narrative of the transformations of our times that occurred to safeguard traditions and the past.

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    The house at the edge of the woods in the days of Google Maps. This could be the title of a fairy tale for our great-grandchildren but, in fact, the roof covering of a single family home in Italian Carpignano Sesia, nearby Novara – at 70 km east from Milan - has been designed to be visible in aerial and satellite photographs, becoming a topographic landmark of the area. At the edge of the large woodland area, the corrugated metal sheets – painted in different colours to emphasize...

    Project details
    • Year 2015
    • Work finished in 2015
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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