Villa N by Architettura Matassoni is a stunning single-family home constructed with disjointed concrete volumes for a shoe factory manager and his family in Arezzo, Italy. The home was built around a central courtyard with a subterranean pool. This "core" of the home is designed to let plenty of light and cool air into the home to lower energy usage. According to the architect, "we wanted to use low-tech solutions, when possible, which could ensure the internal microclimate control in a passive manner through the natural flow of fresh air from the green external areas."
The exterior looks complex, thanks to the strategically-placed volumes, but the interior is very simple and linear. The first floor hosts the sleep areas in a private atmosphere. Daylighting provides illumination for these rooms via several linear slots cut out of the roof. The community spaces are more open, with floor-to-ceiling windows around the courtyard. “This compositional logic allows a visual reciprocity between the different environments with many possible views mixing different spaces and functions,” explained the architect.
The expressive language of the architecture was influenced by the client’s expressed preference for ninety degrees angles and the flat surfaces. The client also wanted a very low-tech sort of feel, which prompted the use of simple materials like plaster and metal panels that help provide ventilation. The floor features stone slabs, combined with floating wooden surfaces in the outside spaces.
The lot on which the home sits is sloped, so the garage is tucked in the basement, along with additional living spaces. Upstairs, bedrooms and community areas are placed around the courtyard.
“Its centrality is partly contradicted by the perimeter openings emphasized by the centrifugal projections of several architectural elements that have been stretched toward the extreme edges of the available area (a surface very limited compared to the volume allowed),” said the architect. Predominantly white surfaces also help to simplify the visual impact of the interior.