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Chipperfield completes pair of Italian holiday homes

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David Chipperfield Architects has completed a pair of villas on the shore of Lake Garda in Italy

The one and two-storey holiday villas sit on the hillside overlooking the resort of Gardone Riviera.

According to the practice, the homes ‘interpret the architecture of the limonaias, which were built for the cultivation of lemons and are historically typical for the area’.

Living spaces are arranged to the front of the plan to provide the rooms with views across the lake, while auxillary spaces have been placed at the back of the buildings.

The two villas are part of a 78,000m² resort which includes another holiday villa designed by Richard Meier, three villas by Austrian practice Sphere, and a club house with five apartments designed by Milan-based Matteo Thun.

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The architect’s view

With reference to the limonaias, the building volumes are each framed by three solid exterior walls made of natural stone masonry and built up on a plinth of the same material. The main elevation facing the valley opens up towards the Mediterranean landscape with room-height windows. Pergolas with slim columns are placed in front of the volumes, echoing the rhythm of the surrounding olive groves. The pergolas provide protection from the sun and extend the interior into a protected outdoor space, which leads to further terraces with outdoor pools.

The materials are influenced by the region. The stone for the masonry and terraces comes from local quarries. The light roof structure of the pergolas and the window frames are crafted from wood, providing a contrast to the stone. The inner organisation of the buildings further reflects the surroundings. While the auxiliary rooms are located in the rear areas, the living and bedrooms are situated at the front, providing panoramic vistas of the lake and the surrounding landscape. The two buildings were constructed in the context of a larger project, encompassing seven villas, a hotel and an apartment building designed by four architectural practices.

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Project data

Location Gardone, Italy
Type of project private house
Architect David Chipperfield Architects
Client Villa Eden Gardone
Landscape architect Enea Outside In
Structurall engineer Ingenieurteam Bergmeister
Services engineer Energytech
Building physics Felderer & Klammsteiner
Project management Ingenieurteam Bergmeister
Quantity surveyor Ingenieurteam Bergmeister
Construction documentation Ingenieurteam Bergmeister
Project start 2008
Start on site 2012
Completed 2015
Gross floor area 2,680m²

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