A house on the hill
Winner of the latest edition of Stone Design Award, the new studio of Michel Boucquillon, architect and designer, and Donia Maaoui , architect sculptur and painter, is a dwelling that exists in continuity with nature. Olive trees, stones, white marble are the characteristic elements of the landscape of the hill on which the house stands.
Nevertheless, this "back to nature" does not involve the rediscovery of vernacular architecture nor bucolic tastes, avoiding contemporary reality.
Instead, it operates in the present, both in terms of environmental issues, including optimization of energy sources (total self-sufficiency including collection of rain water, the use of a heat pump, solar pump, solar panels) and in finding a delicate solution to construction in such a natural settings.
The project met with the interest and support of the city of Lucca and the local authorities.
The shape of the hill, the layering of rises and portions of white marble together with the green of olive trees and the native brush, suggested franking the existing, seriously damaged structure with an extension of living space added to the house proper, place between large terraces faced by the work space.
The terraces reinterpret the agricultural terraces of the past, making the insertion of the new construction more harmonious. This approach already shifts the project to the necessary landscape scale, where the architecture is not seen as "a priori" to insert, but a contribution to re-design a part of the hill.
In these terms the choice of a single material like white marble, used for the external facing of the entire construction, becomes a factor of continuity with the rock, the very material on which the house stands, becoming a sort of architectural extension that transforms the materic geography of the place.
Without camouflage or disguise, the house uses its compositional process to assert its open, sincere modernity.
photo credits: Michel Boucquillon
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