- Architects: ARKPABI | Giorgio Palu’ e Michele Bianchi Architetti
- Location: 26100 Cremona, Province of Cremona, Italy
- Architects In Charge: Giorgio Palù, Michele Bianchi
- Area: 13500.0 m2
- Project Year: 2016
- Photographs: Roland Halbe
- Collaborators: Nicola Bignardi, Martina Varoli, Davide Andrea Nolli, Marcello Cesini, Alessandra Dall’Ara, Francesca Gallina, Ilaria Falabella
- Structural Engineer: FVPROGETTI S.R.L.
- Plants: Alca Impianti, Studio Giorgi Lorenzo & C. s.a.s, Studio Bonato
- Electric Plumbings: Electric line s.n.c. di Barcellari Diego & C.
- Hydraulic Plumbing: Termoidraulica Alfianellese di Ambrosini Antonio & c. Snc
- Structural Steek Structures: Falcone srl – costruzioni in acciaio
- Owner: Magazzini Generali s.r.l. – Jacopo Franzan
- Owner Assistants: Sandro Lanzon, Walter Perugini
From the architect. The architect has a difficult task in creating new projects he often has to interfere with unique natural locations, each exuding its own individual atmosphere; he must therefore deeply examine each location, so that the project may be incorporated appropriately into the space that will contain it. In this project we have tried to rebalance both the relationship between human being and constructed space,and the relationship between architecture and open space, by creating many green spaces: roof terraces and gardens, accessible from luminous glass rooms,which encourage an osmotic reaction between internal and external, and between green space and mineral construction; light floods the space, shaping it, giving it structure and life; light becomes the generator of space.
Our desire to maximise the viewsfrom the buildings towards the green external spaces considerably complicated the project, and resulted in the creation of unusual volumes. These are based aroundthe idea thattheydisintegrate and juxtapose, apparently untidily, but following a strict logic based on rhythmic alterations and studied asymmetries.
Specifically, we tried to “explode” and then reassemble the green spaces we had previously interfered with, imaginingthat we could reinstate them at different levels as the roofs of the houses, thereby creating a garden stratification which, from a hypothetical bird’s-eye view, seems once again to have become a single large field.
This residential complex overturns the traditional ratio between open air and constructed mass:somewhere you can encounter the anomaly of a corpus of new volumes, where empty ones are larger than filled ones. This allows the space to “breathe” and the houses to enjoy wide open views, creating afeelingoflivingamong “suspended villas” in the midst of nature: “suspended in a rarefied and permeable architecture”.
Experimentation and research for this project brought us back to one of the sets of basic tenets of Modern Architecture: Le Corbusier’s five points for anouvelle architecture: pilotis, toit jardinplan libre, fenêtre en longeur, andfaçade libre.In fact, looking deeply intoour project,the entire complex seems to be a contemporary reinterpretation of Le Corbusier’s guidelines.
At raised ground level a large plate designed for commercial use covers the whole site. At the centre of its roof top a densesweet gum wood filters the view of an office area placed within the greenery. Around it, in the shape of a horseshoe, there are twelve residential units, clad with a continuous boiserie ofoukumé wood; on the opposite side a large undulating glass windowlooks towards the suspended private gardens.
Several lengthy colossal “trunks”, which symbolisethe lightness and the strength of bamboo, support precast housing plates (built like Lego). Full length and horizontal panoramic windows alternate with each other at different levels.
The villas, apparently suspended in the air, are covered with roof gardens and by a curved central volumeof glass and Corten Inox, which connects the mezzanines with the living rooms below.