The building, located halfway up the hill of Gassino T.se (Turin), is the result of a replacement project with expansion for the construction of a single-family villa with attached farmhouse. On the lot there was a rural building dating back to the 1930s but modified and enlarged in later times, without significant architectural and historical features. The intervention included the complete demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new one for residential and agricultural use, built largely on the footprint of the existing structure.
The aim was to identify client’s aspirations developing responses to their desire of quality and architectural sustainability, combining the needs of an educational farm open to the public with the possibility of enjoying intimacy in the context of the family. The project interprets the residential theme of rural villa, developing and declining the archetype of a Piedmont farmhouse, with the aim to dialogue with its natural context. maintaining a distinctive and strong identity.
The design composition of the construction is based on the elaboration of distinct and connected volumes, arranged and oriented according to the orography of the land. Balancing tradition and innovation, the farm house was designed for an agricultural entrepreneur, her husband and their three children. Linear and rigorous, the external front open to public, is a pure volume with brick curtain wall texture, on which a second staggered hollow brick pattern volume is inserted perpendicular, recalling the barns of traditional farmhouses and recreating the typical atmosphere of "farmyard". This cantilevered volume projects over the valley, framing and transforming it into a background, permeating the internal spaces of the building. If the main volume shows the simple certainty of vernacular architecture, the private area body with the “brutalist minimalism” of its white concrete volume changes the overall view of the building: digging the side of the brick body it becomes support and integral part of it. The fair-faced white concrete, structure and plastic shape of the private space, designs its outlines and defines its relationship with the natural elements. On the front of this part of the building opens a large terrace with the swimming pool overlooking the cultivated valley. Here the bio-pool, which uses only natural materials for its operation and water filtering, also functions as water reservoir to collect rainwater and increase water- use efficiency supplying water for the farm during dry times. Under the terrace we find the lemon house and the permaculture research laboratory. The building consists of 2 floors, where public and private spheres are clearly separated spaces. The spatial solutions identifying the functions of the Villa-Farm are characterized by different formal choices as well as by a unique and specific choice of materials. The brick and fair-faced concrete fronts as well as the wood and stone of the external floorings penetrate the interior of the building and redefine its spatial articulation, offering a material connection between inside and outside. Inside the residence, spaces and volumes reflect the same concept used for the exterior: a more intimate space for the private and an open and more convivial space to welcome guests, with a double height living area and kitchen. A
50 Kw PV rooftop system guarantees energy and self-sufficiency to the residence and the farm. The heating functions of the house are operated by thermal control heating devices such as air-water pump combined to a wood-burning hydronic fireplace distributing heating through radiant floor panels. All these appliances are connected and controlled thanks to a smart home automation system. Water theme took a considerable attention in the design, both in limiting consumption and in recovery rainwater and wastewater. A phytoremediation system manages the discharges returning to fields nutrition and irrigation. Clients' dream was to create a great architecture in a strong naturalistic context: a house full of life, intimate for the family but always open to friends, truly livable indoors and outdoors all year around. The Amilu Farm project results from the deep desire to engage a dialogue with the landscape, embracing its different components through a clearly recognizable dialectical composition.