The G family home in Sorengo, on the
edge of Lugano in Ticino, is the category of villa that Palladio put forward as
a contrast with the town house. The site, a long narrow strip of land on a
steep slope, is part of a hilly area, bordered on its short sides by a private
road and another property. On the long sides it is fringed by another site
being developed and a wood that is legislatively bound. To enjoy the fine view
of the mountains and part of the lake, the ground level must be raised by three
Inaki Abalos would define Villa G as
the product of pragmatism. The spaces are articulated according to the client’s
precise requests, such as the fact that all the main living spaces on the
ground floor, with a second floor devoted only to a games room, guest area and
the solarium with a heated pool. As a house, it is neither too large nor too
small. There is room in it for all that is needed for each member of the family
to live life autonomously.
The plan involves an interchange of
open glassed areas and enclosed volumes to house the technical and service
zones as well as the closed rooms such as the study. From the entrance,
positioned just over two metres from the road, a long corridor crosses the
entire main floor, broadening as it reaches the sitting room and dining area.
The house is a system that is reflected in the spaces.
Villa G has been designed so as to
permit all the internal areas to open onto the wood: allowing architecture to
become an environmental filter. A central patio increases further the important
relationship between inside and outside.
The volumes, made up of load-bearing
partition walls, are of different heights and emerge at the upper level to
construct an artificial landscape that contrasts with the natural landscape of
The choice of materials is
intentionally restricted; the walls are in pale cement treated with reflective
paint both for aesthetic reasons and to protect them. Inside, the insulation is
covered with white plaster. Externally the house has been clad in local stone.
Opaque aluminium fittings bring a contemporary touch to the project as a whole.
Particular mention should be made of
the realisation process. The pragmatic method ties together technical aspects
and nature. From a technical point of view there is a merging with Swiss
artisanship. The metal sheet, subtly working, resolves details related to
dripping water. The formworks, thanks to a system created ad hoc for the house, hide the join marks so that the aesthetics of
the cement walls are not compromised and to allow the parquet floor to be
recessed without the need for a skirting board.