Italian firm MoDus Architects nestled this timber-clad atelier and home in the mountain village of Castelrotto in northern Italy. Designed for the artist Hubert Kostner, the two-volume structure rises impressively atop a ridge and is sculpted in a form evoking the alpine landscape. The north-facing wood structure is carefully oriented to bring in the even, indirect natural lighting so coveted by artists.
Located on a small and sloping site, the house and atelier’s bifurcated lower level is partially buried underground and built from concrete; large glass windows pour natural light into the lower level, which consists of various workspaces, the gallery, and storage space. In contrast to the lower level’s bedrock-like, brown plaster facade, the larger, upper volumes are clad in light-colored, unfinished, industry grade wood and house the private bedrooms, baths, communal areas, and a double-height, north-facing studio space beneath the pitched roofs.
The wooden, alpine-like volumes were constructed from light-frame and cross-laminated timber building systems. Its distinctive “V” structure was inspired from traditional construction techniques from South Tyrol and provides opportunities for views from behind glazed walls. A spiral stairwell housed within a concrete cylindrical mass punctuated by pinewood doors and a wood-framed window joins the bifurcated upper volumes.