Architects Cosimo Terlizzi and partner Damien Modolo have created a lamia-style hemp and lime construction art studio in southern Italy. It combines traditional building style from the Valle d’Itria and Alto Salento region with modern and sustainable materials and energy management systems. The team designed the studio to reflect the owners’ love of both the Apulian countryside and sustainable living.

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A white rectangular building with green trees scattered around it

Lamia Santolina has a traditional farmers’ building style that looks like a thick, white box. The building is wider at the base and tapers toward the roof and includes broad windows on each side placed in the heavy, whitewashed walls. The building uses natural and recyclable materials to insulate and seal the structure. This design was traditionally intended to make the most of natural daylight without allowing too much direct sunlight to enter the windows, keeping the building cool during hot Italian summers.

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A room with a desk and a person sitting on the desk with a dog on the ground and floor-to-ceiling windows on the right

Walls and the roof slab were fabricated by Messapia Style, an ethical construction company and champion of hemp and lime construction in Italy. Lime and hemp construction is gaining popularity throughout Europe because the non-toxic mixture has a high thermal sealing capacity (thermal conductivity: 0.056 W/mK), controls internal moisture levels and absorbs CO2 from the environment.

A structure of the building built of metal beams

Internal stability is created by a modular iron structure produced by Scaff System. This was adapted to accommodate the ancient incannucciato cane roof technique. Local artisans placed locally grown canes on top to create mats that rest on the steel joists. A 25-cm hemp and lime mixture layer was then applied on top of the canes to seal and insulate the roof.

An aerial view of a white building surrounded my trees scattered around sparsely

Solar power and rainwater collection rounds out this eco-friendly studio. The solar system should provide enough electricity for several surrounding structures. Rainwater will be used for irrigation of the surrounding olive grove.

+ YAS Architecture

Images via YAS Architecture