Villa GNR designed by Archisbang and located in Ivrea, Italy consist of energy efficiency upgrading, structural renovation, along with the total restyling of a residential building from the Sixties, which can be divided into three independent apartments.
From the original structure, architects can appreciate its impressive volume in relation to the surrounding, residential area on the hills of Ivrea. The project highlights this feature by removing all the overhangs from the existing building: solids and voids are redesigned with large squared holes and the roof is transformed into a useful floor area – a private rooftop from where you can enjoy a high view over the Alps and the Serra Moraine of Ivrea.
Only the skeleton was left and then reinforced in order to improve its resistance to earthquakes. The energy efficiency upgrades include an external insulation system covered by lightweight cement boards, which were then roughly plastered with natural lime mortar. The fortress-like appearance of the building, due to its massive presence, is in contrast with its large transparent holes. Its severe relationship to the ground is emphasized by a large rock, on which the building is sited, and a play of voids and double heights on the southern side renders the rock visible from all floors.
In order to fulfill the requirements of flexibility imposed by today’s dynamic society, the building can be divided into three units: three apartments, three entrances, three finishes on the façade. The ground floor is occupied by a garage and a rock cellar. All the apartments can be connected through the elevator and the interior stairwell, whereas the external metal stairs make the apartments and the rooftop independently accessible. On the first floor, two small-sized apartments share a living space, which is possible to reconfigure if need be thanks to a 180-degree rotating wooden panel.
The main apartment is located on the top floor and the rooftop is surrounded by forest trees on the northern side; the walls of the master bedroom are made of raw, reinforced concrete, acting as the main support of not only the existing structure, but also the swimming pool on the rooftop. The walls of the fluid interior spaces are roughly plastered in continuity with the exterior and the floors are in polished concrete punctuated with sections of grinded concrete and parquet. The severe atmosphere created by straight lines is softened by custom-made furnishing, wooden doors and windows, as well as large views of the green forest and light cuts intercepting the different levels of the building.