The three zones of working, living and resting are represented in sequence along an axis by juxtaposed edifices whose shape remains recognisable from without: a trapezoidal polyhedron, an ample rectangular hall and a tower articulated on two levels. On the inside, openings and pathways weave a possible dialogue between each cavity. Silences are not all alike. The silence of a large nave is different from that of a room. And the outdoor sounds of the countryside perceived through a great silence can be yet more diverse.
So, in a long central hall, modulated in plan on three squares six metres wide the heart of the design is formed. The flooring in travertine and a covering of Venetian stucco spread on the ample side developed lengthways, create, via a chromatic homogeneity, a continuous ribbon which, enveloping the observer, offers a sort of blank page on which to write his or her own experience. At the same time, the light, coming from the long sides of the room, has the possibility to interpret the space. On the south side the position of the windows welcomes in the winter sun and, through a thick wide cement lunetta, screens the sun in summer.
Below, in the centre, a block of travertine is excavated from a low cavity. Inside it a parallelepiped functions as a work surface for the kitchen, occupying the centre; in the background a door leads to the pantry and two short windows mark the corners of the room leading towards the outside. On the opposite side of the hall, to the north, the windows shrink towards the corners, becoming vertical. From floor to ceiling, the openings pick up the fleeting oblique light of the sun at dawn and at sunset in summer which, penetrating the room diagonally, colour the space with new meanings.
Finally, moving between the hall and the tower of the rest, an azure light, concealing its origins, slips from above along the wooden and cemented walls of the walkways and the stairs accessing the tower, forming an iridescent stage, a picture in perspective in mutation.
Architect: Antonino Cardillo
Designed from November 2007 to January 2008
Inspired by a visit to the Qaṣr al-Bāhiya of Marrakech
Imagined place: Parma countryside
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Vaulted House © Antonino Cardillo