Casa De Masi. Indoor and Outdoor Blend SeamlesslyTogether With Addition/Renovations to Italian Home
THE PROJECT. An addition and renovations to a private home located in Casarano, Italy. Designed by Toti Semerano - Laboratorio Di Architettura. 2008
The original building was apparently an old factory which the owners and architect had contemplated demolishing in order to start from square one.. After due consideration, the decision was made to use the building as a "starting point", rework the floor plan and make additions to conform to the project program. Once completed, the home is now a succession of indoor/outdoor spaces, with private gardens blending as a natural continuation of interior rooms. The highlight of the project is the fully glazed pavillion addition which seems to float in the air, situated in a larger, squarish pond. Surrounding the pavillion is a forest of cedar reeds which filter the light.
Exterior of the Pavillion. This image shows the exterior of the pavillion, shielded by the reeds, which is attached to the original building by the roof and bisected by a glazed entry area. Beside it is a wood patio set with a table and chairs. Not trying to second guess the architect, Interesting for me is that, given the climate of southern Italy, I would have thought there would be some sort of cover over this area. I have seen so many wood trellises with greenery overhead in examples of Italian al fresco dining, this seems like an excellent candidate for one.
Enclosed Patios. As extensions of the interior space, there are patios outside of most rooms. As described by the architect: "Their installation, both inside the building and in the garden, is an integral and foundational part of the concept of domestic space.
Enclosed Patios. Another example of interior living brought outside. This one has a screen built into the wall, either for privacy or as a sun block.
Wood Exterior Cladding.. As a unifying element, tying the old factory building exterior and the patio walls together, is painted wood siding. The dwelling and the patios are separate spaces, but the siding eases the transition form one space to the other.
Patio with Flower Bed. An added element to the patio.
Pavillion and Sidewalk to Front Entry.
Pavillion and Sidewalk to Front Entry Illuminated for Evening
Pavillion. This space, for me, is the highlight of the home. First, the creativity of the idea is incredible. Transparency to the outdoors is one the three basic tenants of my design philosophy core and this example transcends any concept of that I may have had.
Second, the structural aspect of this area is also notable. What holds the ceiling up is not the walls, they are glazed and non-bearing, but above the ceiling is a grid work of I-beams from which the ceiling is "hung". Outside the glazed walls is a pond which comes right up to the windows and contains plantings, all visible to the indoor space. It's like being suspended in a glass "pod", looking out at nature.
Master Bath with Door to Patio
Master Bath with Another View. Note: Wood Floor.
I liked this so much I had to show it again. Amazing!
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS PROJECT. The creativity shown in this project is at a level not often seen. It is thinking out of the box, not just ground out to get the job done. Kudos to the design team and also to the owners, who would have had to be on board with this.
The main element of the design is the transparency of the home to the outdoor area and the land. The floor to ceiling windows in the pavillion allow you to be pulled through them and experience the pond and the natural beauty of the greenery. The access to the patios from bedroom/bath enhances the feeling of freedom to use the space. Also notable is the use of organic materials for the interior finish.