Perched over 5,700 feet above sea level, Casa Solare is a three story retreat in the Italian Alps designed by Studio Albori. Located in the village of Vens in the Val D’Aosta region, close to where Italy meets France and Switzerland, the home is built from locally sourced timber and it makes the most of its surrounding environment. The natural aesthetic fits in perfectly with the view of Mount Emilius and Aosta Valley.
Studio Albori‘s Casa Solare is perfectly designed to benefit from the sun’s position in the sky, and it includes passive solar design details that allow the house to stay cool on the warmest of days. Overhangs above the abundant south-facing windows draw in the sun’s heat during winter but block out the more intense summer sun. Phase change panels absorb the sun’s warmth at daylight hours and then releases it at night to keep the house comfortable and shut out that Alpine chill after sunset.
The house is then topped off with photovoltaic panels on its roof to supplement the heat that a wood-burning stove generates for a steady supply of hot water and fuel for cooking. Casa Solare’s north-facing facade has very few windows, which helps to keep heat in. Inside and out, the larch timber that supports the house’s frame and lines the interior walls is left untreated.
Based in Milan, Studio Albori balances the free spirit of its architects and designers with the need to build its projects as environmentally responsible and energy-efficient as possible. Additional projects include a sustainably designed housing development in Costa Rica and renovated apartment buildings in Milan.
Photos courtesy Studio Albori