A team from LSI recently entered the Young Architects Competitions ‘Observatory House’ competition to find a new use for Roccascalegna’s castle in Italy, taking advantage of the remarkable setting between earth and sky.
The LSI entry, compiled by Architectural Assistants James Potter and Blair Luther-Veitch with some help from Rich Bassett, Derek Jackson and Debbie Cushing, embraces hilltop living, through a series of unique dwellings with their own individual observatory opportunities within the rural wilderness of the natural landscape. Each dwelling becomes more advanced in a stepped hierarchy structure that interweaves and staggers across the slope, using the core material palette of a rich metallic surface, with perforated and solid panels to reflect different transparencies, shading and light contrasts.
The ‘Camping Cabin’ is designed on the basis of forming a small module that can be replicated as a light yet fixed structure. It provides a consistent yet elegant construction using Core 10 perforated metal to extruded perpendicular with the natural contours and cliff face.
As keen astronomers pass through the scheme, the kinetic movement of the occupants begins to become mirrored with the dwellings. The ‘Reflective Apartment’ focuses on two prime functions, public/private spaces and light reflections.
The ‘Kinetic Houses’ provide a luxury and refined experience through its staggered and steeped form. The form of the dwelling is embedded within the terrain and sloped gradient to minimise the profile of the hill.
The ‘Sensory Villa’, designed for the most demanding guests, is equipped with the cutting edge technology needed to viewing the night’s sky from multiple viewing points – all offering their own individual experience.
The luxurious Villa has been positioned on the site that results in its views being completely unique to the rest if the dwellings. Each bedroom pod has its own magnificent sense of floating in the star – half engulfed and half counter levelled from the cliff face – that is ready to comfortable home a modern family.