This small house in the Italian coutryside was designed to be simple and cost-effective. It is covered, walls and roof alike, in copper shingles, making for an eye-catching building that at the same time is compatible with its rural setting.
The house sits on a small parcel whose limited building area was further constrained by the presence of trees. As the client wished to keep all the existing trees, architect Antonio Ravalli designed the house to sit between them. The trees also influenced other aspects of the design. Ravalli positioned the windows to provide views of the trees as well as to take advantage of their shade. To avoid problems with gutters getting clogged by leaves, the house was designed without them.
As the house was to be built by his client, the architect limited the design to building techniques that could be managed by an enthusiastic but inexperienced owner-builder. Only lightweight and easy-to-apply materials were used. A masonry block core forms the central axis of the house, supporting several short roof beams, while the remaining walls and roof structure are of standard wood framing.
The house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms in its 110 m2 (1,184 ft2) floor plan. The bedrooms are at each end with an open plan living area in the middle. The interior finishes were also kept simple. The underside of the roof sheathing serves as the ceiling finish and the poured concrete slab is also the finish floor. To keep fussy trimwork to a minimum, glass units were applied directly to the living area wall studs using silicon sealant rather than installing standard framed windows. Shelving and closet units were built by the owner from low-cost sheets of oriented strand board.
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