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Magic mountain: Dolometenblick Residences, Sesto, northern Italy by Plasma Studio Architects.

Night view.

Photos: Hertha Hurnaus.

London's Plasma Studio Architects have recently completed this small block of six luxury residences in the Dolomite mountains of northern Italy. The building is essentially conceived as a vernacular house of the region, with a double pitched roof. The entire volume looks as though it has been sliced, pushed and moulded to fit comfortably within the topography of the land.

Whilst unmistakably contemporary and unique, the building carries the spirit of the local vernacular without ever quoting from the elements that define it, save for the familiar building materials of larch and copper.

A vertical slash or fracture through the centre of the building announces the entry and internal public circulation as well as giving the impression that somehow a fracture from within the mountain rock itself has grown through the building. The copper clad balcony balustrading is raked and angled suggesting land contours. Their deep overhangs also provide solar shading in the summer, and an element of protection from winter weather. Whilst the double pitched roof is not far from the typical forms of the area, it reads as part of the angled balustrading and therefore part of the land contours – perhaps, a peak on a rocky outcrop might be one description.

It is a convincing exploration of context and the boundaries of architectural tradition.

View from above.

Front entrance.


Gratitude to e-architect for drawing this project to my attention.


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