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GGA architects, Urbino, Residential Building

Tradition on red concrete: AP House in Urbino

Three buildings form a modern hamlet, a small collection of residential volumes that recall the historical compositions of the area. The property in an elevated position offers picturesque views over the sparsely settled hilly landscape of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino.

A concrete slab 38 x 20 metres in size and featuring circular apertures for gnarled olive trees acts as the raft foundation for the two main buildings. A third, smaller house is located some 20 metres away on an artificial mound. The three volumes conform to a joint design principle, with all facades built of rough-hewn stone, while the window frames and solar shading louvres are made of wood. Gutters and drainpipes are not visible from the outside in order to not disrupt the appearance of the natural materials.   

The entrance is located in the basement of the largest house, where an elongated underground gallery links it with the other main building; at this level, the two buildings make the impression of a single housing unit.  A broad variety of uses are accommodated in the basement: the garage, technical equipment rooms, and a fitness room with a spa area. The ground floor is more spacious in effect, with large expanses of glass blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. A direct dialogue between the living and dining areas and the natural surroundings is the result.  

The upper floor contains the bedrooms, and along with a large apartment for the owner contains two spare bedrooms with double beds. The distinguished-looking interior has a reduced design incorporating fair-face concrete walls and walnut wood furniture designed by the architects.   

The third, smaller house contains storage rooms for garden furniture in the basement and a barbecue area on the ground floor. Solar panels installed out of sight of the residential buildings provide the ensemble with the necessary electricity.

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