The house G|C is the project for a small rural house, a cosy refuge deep in an olive tree grove located on the Northern Sicilian coast, between Palermo and Cefalù. The lot is characterised by a high landscape value. Beside the presence of several centennial olive trees, along the North Eastern border deep in the autochthon vegetation a creek runs through the Aqueduct Cornelio, built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. Furthermore, from the top of the hills on the lot it’s possible to enjoy the wonderful view of the sea and of the town of Termini Imerese. The small wooden house will be built right on this most panoramic spot.
The strong naturalistic value of the land and the high level of awareness of the client have inspired right from the get go the main design choices. Because of it came the willingness to create a sustainable architecture, selecting wood as the main material, both for building and finishing.
It is a special volume, simple and solid, able to respond to the will of minimising the soil exploitation and guaranteeing an effective response to the functional program.
The main ambience of the house is a large living room set out in continuity with the outside spaces thanks to two large 5.8 m glass windows, each allowing a total permeation between the household space and the surrounding landscape. Within this large space in a sequence are laid out kitchen built into one of the back walls, a large ten-diners, solid wooden table, a large 8-seater conversation sofa, and a bookshelf with a thermo-fireplace.
The doors of the two bedrooms are hidden behind the volume of the bookshelf that accommodates, beside a wardrobe, a laundry piece of furniture and the bathroom. The bedrooms, both doubles, have a minimal décor and enjoy large glass window overlooking the olive tree grove.
The functional plan is completed by a small warehouse, for the tools needed to the care of the olive tree grove. The outside space consists of the extension of the living room flooring, both on the northern side overlooking the sea and on the southern towards the hills.
On the south side, the whole outside walkable area is protected by a shading tarp stretched on an iron structure guaranteeing a shielding from the sun of the glass windows of the living room and a night-time and daytime sheltered space for the large exterior dining table. The house has also in the back a small outside kitchen equipped with a barbecue, a wooden oven and a woodshed.
The load-bearing structure is made of XLam, a solid wood construction material with a multi-layered structure that has, thanks to its excellent physical-constructive and mechanical features, high thermal and seismic properties.
The building envelop of the house, insulated by high density wooden fibre panels, is used to insulate the interiors from the outside, allowing to minimize the air conditioning systems for summer and winter thermal cold and heat peaks, thus ensuring a perfect thermal and hygrometric comfort.
Wood has also an high soundproofing capacity and, by damping noises, ensures an high acoustic comfort, bringing about a “muffled” feeling granted by the absence of reverberation.
All this features translate into a great psycho-physical wellbeing and in a high level of house utilities savings.
A great attention has been paid to guarantee a higher level of healthiness to the house avoiding the use of paints, construction materials and finishes realising toxic fumes like formaldehyde.
The building envelope is completed by a rainscreen wall made of seasoned larch planks, protected by a simple oil finish. This will allow a larch oxidation that, over time, will take a variety of grey nuances, to progressively amalgamate with the grey bark of the olive trees. The inside flooring, in larch as well, will take on a more vivid colour contributing to create a warmer interior rich of lively and captivating tones.
The G|C house will be a small refuge out of the urban chaotic environment, a sustainable architecture to dive into nature, surrounded only by the birds chirping, the buzz of bees and the murmuring of the river.