A new house has put down its roots in Turin. Its structure is in steel and it looks like a forest where trees are rooted in terraces with irregular shapes, ponds are crossed by footings and lush gardens cover the roofs. The building, designed by Italian architect Luciano Pia, has been thought as a living forest, a house on the trees like the houses children dream of and sometimes build.
The project comes from the necessity of making a residential building to complement a block featured by lack of homogeneity and heterogeneous prospects. The aim of the project is both the construction of the block perimeter with a continuous façade and the making of a filter between the internal inhabited space and the streets. The project wants to create a flowing and smooth transition space to soften the passage from the inside to the outside where the space is always enjoyable. The smooth and changeable transition is emphasized by a targeted use of the green and the building materials so to create a structure which is compact and distinct but also transparent, mutable and enjoyable.
The streeps in solid wood that floor the terraces filter the sunlight in summer, while in winter they let the light break into the house. The wainscot in larch shingles is a sort of soft and vibrant surface. The metal structures look like trees and they “grow” from the groundfloor to the roof while holding up the wooden planking of the terraces: they become entwined with the vegetation to form a unique façade.
One of the aims of the project is the increase of the energetic efficiency and for this reason several integrated solutions have been adopted: continuous insulation, sun protection, heating and cooling systems which make use of the geothermal energy with heat pumps and recycling of the falling rain to water the green.
The green is diversified: big vases on the terraces, court gardens, green walls and roof gardens just in front of the lofts. In the vases there are trees or shrubs of different heights from 2.5 m. to 8 m. Deciduous species have been planted to have sun irradiation in wintertime too. The choise of the species , even if diversified according to the different needs, has been made to grant a variety of leaves, colours and flowering. When all the green is fully blooming it gives the feeling of living in a tree house.
There are 63 residential units in the building and they are all different and fitted with wide terraces of irregular shapes that surround the trees. The last floor is covered with private green roofs .
all images © BEPPE GIARDINO