Luca Compri Architects has constructed a home outside Milan that is awe-inspiring in its simplicity. Built for a couple of computer scientists, the 2,100-square-foot house is built on the edge of the village, overlooking a grove of acacias. NUVO often mentions the Italian commitment to savoir faire and embedding the traditional within the modern, and this home is a prime example.
In a project description, the firm notes: “the simplicity of the architectural composition recalls the small farmhouses and barns of the Lombard countryside, making the house a primitive building devoid of any non-essential element.”
The two-storey home features a glazed double-height living area, which centres the house and turns the upper floor into more of a mezzanine. The glazing thoughtfully extends partway up the roof, giving inhabitants a full view of the bucolic surroundings. On the ground floor, there are also two bathrooms, a bedroom, a study, the kitchen, and a laundry room; the upper floor has another bedroom, a gym, and a bathroom.
The primary building materials are all recyclable. The firm says the use of extremely basic materials was done so that they could be “ennobled,” maintaining livability and beauty while contributing to the sustainability of the home. Pantographed cork exteriors are insulated with rice straw. The interiors are all finished in oak. Extremely simple angles make the texture of the wood and the cork stand out and draw attention to the subtle materials involved in the construction.
Citing the past, this home is almost futuristic in its vision. Completely self-powered by active and passive solar, the home articulates a building culture that is timeless. Sustainability is also timeless, and through this principle the home can become a fixture of the natural world around it. This subtly speaks in a way even the more ostentatious and daring architectural forms cannot.
Photography by Simone Bossi.