Location: Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Architect: Urban Future Organization
Studio: Urban Future Organization
Project manager: arch. Giuseppe Palanga
Design team: Claudio Lucchesi, Andrew Yau, Franco Giordano, Anna Liuzzo, Carmela Notaristefano
Structural calculations: Ing. Salvatore Miano
Wood works: Segheria Vecchio s.a.s
Masonry: Falesia Soc. Coop. Soc. -
Hydranco stopped system: Finocchiaro Impianti
Electrical system: Luciano Miano
Wood finishes: Maurizio Di Fazio
Aluminum windows: Pisano
Photographer: Alfio Garozzo
Text provided by the architects:
Timber Villa With Dual Personalities.
Standing as an object of discreet on a hillside of Siracusa, T House is not only technically an environmentally responsive project, but the design does it as an intricate play between introvert and extrovert experiences in nature.
In order to rethink structural cross-laminated timber design beyond a mere replacement of conventional materials and production intelligence, we take advantage of the large format characters of the timber production and form expressively the envelope with planes like a house of cards. These planes, on one hand reflect the largest panel size that we can manage reasonably to transport to the site, on the other hand articulate strategically the sequencing of opacity, permeability, reflectivity and transparency.
At a first glance the notion of front and back is as conventional as it gets due to the very presence of the solid wall. The denial of any spatial engagement as the utmost way to safeguard privacy is itself an understatement when it is approaching from the driveway. The blankness suspends craftly what is behind the frontage with two chamfered corners polarising your attention towards the top right and bottom left, and beyond.
The hint of the interiority simply provokes an unprecedented level of curiosity and explorative anticipation of a domestic home. The notion of home is therefore kept behind the wall while nature, the sky and the ground, in this sense remains outside the wall before entering the house or going around the corners.
The delay of interiority as well as the sense of home intensify the expectation of what home may come until the moment the other side of the wall reveals itself. The timber panels form highly defined thresholds to frame the amazing sea views and nature where the full height transparent windows and doors erase the physical boundary and diminish the sense of enclosure. The compact proximity of the interior spaces is working with the open layout to extend the experience of outside in and form an interiority of and for nature.
The presence of nature and exteriority inside is up close and personal. The picturesque surroundings is captured in lights and sights, reflections and projections deep into the interior.
The opaque timber wall now becomes a thin and notional element separating inside from outside. The world of home and nature is flipping dramatically and under an immense and looping experiential exchange.