SWISS HOUSE XXXIV, Galbisio, Switzerland
Our design is an articulated construction meant for the enjoyment of the spaces for many years to come.
From afar the building is a marker in the landscape, it expresses a meaning already suggested by its context. From close up, it is a collection of many things and from within, a world, that changes with the passing of the hours of the day and the days of the year.
The design is like a constellation of points, each one’s luminosity defining our priorities, corresponding to the ambitions of those who live within it and is an interpretation of the spaces that embrace the joys of life.
We have built a place for the present that projects back into memory and forward into the future: the memory of pristine landscapes where the buildings of local stone had to resist until eternity, protecting the inhabitants; when gestures were used sparingly in order to concentrate strength. Now, they respond to a different perception, perhaps more evolved, to adapt to the speed of life.
However, the ultimate goal of a space remains as giving comfort to its inhabitant. This for us represents the drive towards the future; working to improve the quality of life and creating a place of positive energy, where man is the protagonist in finding his way to become a better person.
The construction is used as a primary dwelling. It is designed as a volume enclosed by a set of concrete sects. Beginning as a cube and a square plan, these concrete blades are shifted three dimensionally to open the space up to the Alpine landscape, while maintaining privacy. It protects the inhabitants from visual collisions with the neighbours yet is generous in its prospect, the borrowed landscape becoming part of daily life.
The concrete blades evoke the idea of terracing and retaining walls, common in this region, that at times lift up off the ground, revealing the entrance porch and the west bedroom.
The plan of the house is staggered by a mid level floor, allowing the house adhere to the gentle slope of the land. To the south, a double stair system brings us to the terraces of the kitchen and the living room. This aspect underlines the importance of the relationship between this new presence and the traditional stone constructions of the region where the external stairs offered access to the upper floor level. This system also reinforces the perception of a terraced structure in the landscape.
The cube, the primal element of this new organism in which to live, is the place of calm and the fulcrum of the hill. Its concrete blades are fragments, broken off from the medieval castle walls of Bellinzona. It is our ideal home, an enclosure that opens up to the context and breathes it in, making us part of these wonderful surroundings.
The space dilates across diverse horizons, in different directions, all intended by the design, and by the nearby details, like the tree or the vines of the neighbours’ gardens.
Architecture takes its roots from the place in which it is born and defines the time that runs in our senses. It changes and grows with us. It outlast us and we gift it to the future. Every house built with love will never stop surprising us, helping us and growing with us and those who will follow us.
Davide Macullo April 2017