Michael DelValle

Michael DelValle

Derry, NH, US


Piazza Ghiberti: Housing (spring 2009)

The housing portion of the Piazza Ghiberti project is meant to serve the students of the architecture school, located on the southern side of the piazza. The apartments are located on the two upper floors while the bottom level is for market storage and commercial activity. The apartments are arranged in clusters served only by vertical circulation, eliminating horizontal circulation while increasing natural ventilation and light.

The intention of the design aesthetics is to relate to the Italian architecture of the area while being modern simultaneously. Because shutters are on all buildings within the city of Florence, as a means of privacy, a sliding shutter system was developed. This system not only references the shutters used on the surrounding buildings but also the dynamic quality of the marketplace below, which can be noticed in the varying of their positions on the facades.

Further related to the architecture of the area is the use of stucco, which covers most of the buildings in Florence. A modern membrane structure is used to offset the seemingly austere architecture, creating shade for the roof terrace. It also, used as a large element for the new entrance to the architecture school, ties the student housing with the school it serves.

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Status: School Project
Location: Firenze, IT