Housing / Lugano / 2013 - 2014


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 metres.
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 mountains.
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.


Private villa on the Lugano Lake






Complete (design and construction)


Surface area: 340 mq
Budget: n.d.


2013 – 2014


Architecture – Contractor up to 2016: Scape s.p.a. led by partner Paolo Mezzalama and the studio team
Structural engineering and construction supervision: Lorenzo Medici
MEP: Mauro Gavazzini
Cost consultancy: Alessandro Guagni
Landscape: Letizia Carpi


© Francesco Mattuzzi