Living at -0.45

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Living at -0.45
Transformation of a few barns into a house/studio and more, Mathi 2012

The client decides to leave his nice apartment downtown Torino to move his family to his hometown, restoring a big shed, little more than a roof in ruins, adjacent to the little house he restored with his wife in the years after their wedding. It is a long-time dream, for which he is eager to invest most of his resources. After interviewing several architects, he asks MARC to design a special house, irrational, for his whole life.
MARC decides to accept this responsibility with the client’s same honesty and passion. The family’s desires and needs are met directly, without trying to rationalize them into a design too unitary: openness toward the exterior, energetic autonomy, a small swimming-pool, care for the previous home, to be connected to the new one without being modified. A micro world made of well-defined initial elements, continuously developed and rethought during the period –not a short one- of the construction, heterogeneous, but neutralized by coating them with an uniform and indifferent color RAL 7032.

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Also the close bond to the territory is interpreted literally: a shallow excavation crosses the house from one side to the other and defines the building’s relation to the ground, provoking an immediate visual and functional link between the interior and the landscape. This lowered – 45 cm below ground level – footprint allows to fit an additional floor without changing the outline of the building. It also allows enough space to suspend the volume of the swimming-pool at the second floor, for a better exposure to the sun.
During the construction period, the clients decide to extend to other building nearby the same additive approach used for the house. They decide to restore also their professional studios, connecting them to the house through an old brick building. A year later they buy the house in front, to establish a small bed & breakfast, as well connected to the main house. A little village within the village begins to show… To be continued.

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Design: MARC
Designers: Subhash Mukerjee, Michele Bonino
Partners for engineering: Ingeo associati, Marco Milanese, Luca Raimondo
Collaborators: Lucia Baima, Mi-Jung Kim, Tommaso Rocca
Contractor: Ienter srl
Client: private
Surface: 250 sqm
Photos: Beppe Giardino