At first sight, the most striking feature of this residence immersed in the greenery is its clean lines and rigorous design, characteristics that give it a strong personality while at the same time enabling it to integrate harmoniously into the surrounding countryside.
Located in the town of Maniago in the heart of northern Italy’s Friuli region, just a few kilometres outside Pordenone, the residence derives from a skilful project to renovate a modest, fairly anonymous seventies home that lacked the structural characteristics required by current seismic legislation. The building also presented a number of problems due to its state of repair, first and foremost cracking of the walls caused by partial subsidence and poor foundations, while the technological systems failed to meet current energy consumption standards. Furthermore, access to the home was via an external staircase that was inconvenient and dangerous in the winter and the cantilevered balconies generated a high degree of thermal bridging and weakened the structure’s seismic performance.
“In view of all these issues,” explained Pierangelo Brandolisio, the architect tasked with the renovation project, “we had to think carefully at the design stage about how we were going to achieve the structural stability and energy savings needed to attain class A certification, but also how to create an appealing overall architectural result. Essentially, we decided to maintain the characteristics of massing and fenestration of the original building, but resolved the access issue by using covered walkways leading to the various spaces and by partially extending the east side. This extension also had the effect of making the elevation less imposing in terms of height.”
Entirely rationalist in spirit, the building displays an intriguing play of volumes in which the interlocking solids and voids are elegantly and functionally enhanced by the external cladding, consisting of hi-tech porcelain sheets from Panaria’s Aisthesis 0.3 collection. These ultra-thin, large-format sheets (up to 3 metres by 1 metre in size, thickness 3 mm) are produced using innovative laminated porcelain technology, which combines superb aesthetics with outstanding technical characteristics of strength, low weight and flexibility. The chosen dark colour, Lavica, contrasts effectively with the white plastered sections, a juxtaposition that is repeated in the alternation of matt/gloss and which enhances the sensation of interlocking volumes. The design and continuity of the exterior cladding is of particular interest, as is the unique sense of softness and luminosity that runs through the entire project. As Mies van der Rohe famously put it, “Less is more”.
Panaria Ceramica, Aisthesis 0.3 series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): < 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 120 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant