c12 - villa chile, mendrisio, switzerland, 2015
Mendrisio has a clear structure: a system of terraces, on which are set palazzi, villas, houses and their gardens.
The project is a continuation of the urban structure of the village, offering a belvedere and a villa, while transforming what is presently the rear of the building into a new urban front. The public space is plural and integrates the new building with the existing paths and stairs.
The villa is the “idea” of the villa.
The base is a solid construction on two floors; thick walls define a rational infrastructure, where teachers’ offices are organized on one floor and storage and utility rooms on the other.
The elevation consists of two floors of design ateliers, interpreted as a modern laboratory; the continuous space is bathed in natural light and opens towards the landscape and the surrounding buildings. At its centre four walls offer a moment of twilight and intimacy. From the niches of the ateliers there is access to the porch, defined by a slender filigree of lintels and pilasters in light precast concrete, “tone sur tone” with the concrete base.
The crowning is a pavilion surrounded by a terrace: here students access to the model laboratory.
The connection between the base and the villa is made pragmatically via a staircase and an elevator.
The belvedere is an artificial terrace which overlooks the valley: beneath the foyer is a "propileo".
In Palazzo Turconi a new staircase is introduced, opening onto the lawn of the belvedere.
The underground construction is on one floor: the foyer acts as a hall for exhibitions or lectures and as an interior public space; this allows a comfortable daily connection between the new library arranged in Palazzo Turconi, the exhibition building Teatro dell’architettura and the lecture rooms. The space has a shaded character, with light flowing down from the new stairs of Palazzo Turconi and from the openings towards the new square.
The villa, the belvedere, the small square, the staircases and ramps predispose a pattern of use, which integrates with the existing.