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Monday, June 25, 2012

Structural Notations


By Savitha Hira
Photography: Andrea Martiradonna & Leo Torri; Courtesy Park Associati


Based on their core purpose – residential or commercial or both, building design demands sensitivity clubbed with pragmatic approach; besides the number game, which is the crux of any estate.

Irrespective of where one resides, building norms respect habitat ideals and work on a common platform comprising of several factors that contribute towards the success of the building per se.

A skillful approach to this genre is exhibited by Park Associati architects from Milan in the design of a residential cum commercial building in a hilly wooded area in Azzate, (VA), Italy. Maximizing the positives of an open landscape, the architects play with volume and form using geometries and perspective axes that highlight its visibility from a local countryside environmental route.

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In terms of composition, one notices traditional elements such as the double-pitched roof combined eclectically with an irregular pattern of openings on the facades. Two main blocks – north and south, with asymmetric pitched roofs in sheet aluminium, on two storeys (the second houses duplex units only), are differentiated by their colours and cladding materials as well as by the use of different street elevations, dictated by the differing orientation and optimal control of solar factors. While the block to the north has a street elevation with an irregular rhythm defined by the presence of balconies and large projecting windows, the south block sports west-facing balconies with moving sunscreen panels that control the penetration of light into the building.

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The lower storey is differentiated with larch wood cladding and comprises of three parts - the central area between the two residential blocks, which houses a number of commercial activities that look onto a raised piazza, and is characterised by the presence of a water feature; and the two side wings with parking areas for the houses that are completely screened by panels of timber planks.

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Blending in the various elements, the material palette is ingeniously restricted to a render for the surface of the walls, aluminium for the roofs, screening elements along the balconies, systems for screening windows and larch for cladding the lower level. Larch planks have been used to form a screen to the stairwells too, thereby controlling light and ensuring privacy for these communal areas with respect to the street.

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The Azzate Building is an archetype indeed that underlines the significance of architectural vocabulary; a fact that is reinstated with carefully planned exterior lighting.  

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2 comments :

  1. There is no doubt that the written word can influence irrespective of the market. Even in these days of soundbites and the proliferation of abbreviations the pen (or keyboard as the case may be) is mightier than the sword.
    Posted by Mark Cope on Linkedin Group: Design and Construction Network in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can architectural vocabulary denote the nature of inhabitation – residential, commercial, institutional, hospitality, etc?

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  2. Architectural 'vocabulary' is relevant only to the writer as he/she tries to get synopsis across and ideates revealed to the reader. Can it denote the nature of 'habitation' , not necessarily it depends on how the writer developes the description.
    Posted by joel clary on Linkedin Group: Design Architects in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can architectural vocabulary denote the nature of inhabitation – residential, commercial, institutional, hospitality, etc?

    ReplyDelete