Located in the so called „Colmata“ which means reclaimed land in the dialect of Grado, the whole area is a 1940‘s collection of detached, semi-detached and single family homes, all built in the same style and characterized by the people who came to Grado in the early 1950‘s.
Many of the existing buildings are very run down or have been demolished and rebuilt without respect for the architectural style of the era. Nowadays the Colmata has gained popularity again and our client bought his semi detached house in 2009. His wishes and requirements to us were:
- an open plan
- indoor outdoor living
- renewable energy
The most important aspect in our design approach was to underline the fact that the existing, abandoned courtyard is devided from the street by the main building where we created an intimate, private area.
We gave the existing building a total makeover by modifying the inner configuration and building services (renewable energy, upgraded insulation). By designing a pending roof in the courtyard we connected the existing building to the new extension that houses the garage with a storage room on the ground floor and the guestroom with bathroom on the first floor.
The new courtyard itself is divided into three zones. An open area around the main house, the covered outdoor livingroom with fireplace and the open vertical garden that forms the background. From every room of the house overlooking the courtyard you can see the vertical garden, regardless of what could be built on the surrounding properties in the future.
From there you enter the ground floor of the main building where the livingroom forms the link between the outdoor area in the back and a second terrace facing the street. This sequence allows to extend the indoor livingroom to the outside enjoying the sun all day long.
The kitchen is divided by a peninsula from the living and dining area and surrounded by the open staircase that leads to the first floor. Upstairs a custom made credenza acts as a barrier and a Murano mouth blown bubble glass pendant light indicates the landing. On the first floor there are also located the master bedroom, the boys bedroom and the bathroom with walk in shower.
We did not want the extension to compete with the existing building. This is why we came up with the idea of using wood for the extension‘s facade making it unimpressive from the street but very impressive in detail. Wood, though not used in Grado as a building material for many years, is still a traditional and common construction material for boats and huts in the surrounding lagoon.
After extensive research we found a new, exciting, zero maintenance product called Greenwood Venice which is a composite wood that was developed in the area of Venice and is used for many landing piers there. By integrating all shutters and doors into the wooden curtain-wall facing, we were able to make the house look alive when everything is open and illuminated but at the same time let it appear completely unimpressive and sent back to the second row when it is closed.
Proudly and successfully we were the first architects to use Greenwood Venice on a facade.
Location: Grado, IT