HOUSE ON THE HILL VICENZA

Renovation with nature

On the hills around Vicenza, an old country residence is renovated and transformed into a contemporary home.
The residence is located in a clearing on a promontory within a dense forest. The city is close but nature offers a protective belt that separates and safeguards. At the heart of this system, an old rustic residence has been enlarged and manipulated to adapt it to the needs of contemporary living.

Client
Private
Year
2015
Status
Completed
Size
700 sqm
Team
DIRECTOR OF THE PROJECT Flavio Albanese

Flavio Albanese
founder & partner

Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of ASA studio albanese. A self-taught man whose training did not follow the more usual academic route, he began to show interest in shapes and design as a very young boy, and he gradually added many strings to his bow in all sectors of architecture and design. He has held courses at the École Polytechinique Fédérale in Lausanne and at the Art Institute in Chicago (1980), at Yale University (1983), at the University of Architecture in Delft (2005), at the University of Florida (2006), at the Fundacion Proa de Buenos Aires (2008) and frequently at the most important Italian universities. He has also held two workshops at the international summer school of the Architecture School in Venice in 2009 and 2010. He was a member of the Confindustria Vicenza committee from 1998 to 2001, the Domus Academy Scientific Committee (2004-2005) and the MIart Committee of Honour (2009 and 2010), director of the Officina del Porto di Palermo (2006-2008), vice president of the Andrea Palladio Architecture Firms International Centre (2011-2015) and president of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza (2010-2016). From 2007 to 2010 he was asked to head Domus, the prestigious international architecture, design and contemporary art magazine. In 1971 he inaugurated his first design studio in Vicenza. In 1987 his brother Franco joined the business, founding ASA studio albanese. The studio's projects were published by the most most important architecture and design magazines: the Neores project was selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and ASA studio albanese took part in Venice's Architecture Biennial in 2004 and 2006. Flavio is an avid reader and bibliophile (his library, which is open to the rest of the firm, contains more than 15,000 volumes) and he is a connoisseur and collector of contemporary art.

Franco Albanese

Franco Albanese
partner, CEO & executive director

Franco Albanese (born in Vicenza in 1958) has worked in the world of architecture and design since 1976. He graduated from the Architecture School in Venice in 1986 and the year after he founded ASA studio albanese in Vicenza with his brother Flavio. Since then he has been the firm's CEO and Technical Manager, and this role has led him to playing his part in the creation, development and execution of the most important projects. As designer and operations manager he oversaw: the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Padua (1997); “Neores”, the production site and headquarters of Sinv Spa in Schio, Vicenza, (selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2003); the project for the Town Hall of the Municipality of Grumolo delle Abbadesse, Vicenza (1999); “Morimondo 17”, the industrial reconversion of the Sinv spa premises in Milan (2000); the headquarters of Margraf in Chiampo, in the province of Vicenza (2006); and the redevelopment of the “Cava di Mursia” on Pantelleria (2010). He also supervised the design of the Mestre bypass (2004), the “Rocco Forte Verdura Resort” in Sciacca, in Sicily (2005), the expansion of Pantelleria Airport (2006) and the new Rinascente in Palermo (2007). In recent years, he has increasingly concentrated on reconverting urban industrial areas, which has become a key theme of ASA studio albanese's philosophy.

PROJECT ADMINISTRATOR Simone Matteazzi

Simone Matteazzi
project manager

Since 2008, the year he joined ASA studio albanese, Simone has followed projects throughout their creation, from feasibility studies to the final stage. He specialises in relations with public bodies and local government, particularly as regards urban and regional planning. Since 2011, he has been working on the complex Lindower 22 project in Berlin, for which he has supervised the retrofit phase and the new construction work. Before joining ASA studio albanese, he worked for Archistudio in Vicenza (from 2001 to 2008) and as a member of the National City Planning Institute (2003-2008). He has also taught CAD at the Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Interior Architecture Institute from 2002 to 2012. He is currently Vice President of the Ordine degli Architetti Paesaggisti Pianificatori della Provincia di Vicenza and in this role he has been a member of national architecture tender commissions. His favourite word is frontier, and he prefers the beach to the mountains.

TEAM Andrea Garzotto

Andrea Garzotto
architect

Andrea is an architect who specialises in image rendering of projects and 3D models and joined ASA studio albanese in 2007. Virtual rendering and 3D models are a key aspect of every level in architectural projects, which is why Andrea is involved in all the firm's most important projects. Besides rendering images, he also works in interior design and architectural design. After spending a year and a half in Porto, where he fell in love with black and white images, he graduated in architecture from the IUAV in Venice in 2006. In December 2012, he opened "Incipit", a collective space and laboratory for the visual arts. Andrea is a freelance photographer, and considers himself to be a precursor to selfies and a wannabee biker. Travelling is an integral part of his life and his photography. He loves the Berghain in Berlin and wines that have bubbles.

Lorenzo Gentili

Lorenzo Gentili
architect

Lorenzo has been with ASA studio albanese since 2015, when an important masterplan was on the point of being delivered (the Vicenza stretch of the high speed railway line) instantly proving himself to be more than capable of working under pressure. He studied at the AAM in Switzerland from 2006 to 2012, and after spending a year interning with a firm in Melbourne, he received a master's degree in architecture with a design thesis supervised by the architects Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus. On joining the firm, Lorenzo tackled different scale projects throughout the design stage, from preliminary designs to the final designs. He is fascinated by urban culture (and its sub-cultures), he loves graffiti and the way it relates to architecture and the surrounding space. He has remarkable teambuilding qualities, and is a fan of all kinds of sports and travel. He loves collecting magazines and doesn't think that proverbs are particularly useful.

Images credits
Germano Borrelli

All the transformations and extensions were chosen and developed with the caution and attention necessary not to distort their weight, trying to maintain a harmonious relationship between the figure (the house) and the background (the landscape). The result is a house made up of three existing and restored volumes plus a fourth part in the expansion. The discrepancy and juxtaposition of these volumes inherit the logic of the spontaneous pragmatism of rural buildings, which grow over time in a disordered way, responding to practical needs even before aesthetic ones. The project did not want to deny this logic and it largely supported spontaneity instead of putting an order in it. Thus the existing volumes have been modified only in the wide of the openings, with larger and brighter windows instead of the small existing ones. The extension, on the other hand, immediately declares its difference thanks to the shape of the overhanging portico and the numerous portholes that dot and illuminate the side of the volume. The swimming pool, located at the edge of the forest, is projected towards the passage, reflecting a doubled and magical image of nature.