GFA 4800 m2, 3,5 millions Euro, 3 storeys Design: Mattia Malavenda in collaboration with Libidarch Associati Client: Comune di Malles
The project is part of an urban area to be used for collective inter-municipal services after the demolition of the Wackermell barracks and the Municipality launched a competition for a housing complex intended for the students of the High School for Sport located about 100 metres north-east.
Housing and school are linked by a stair running up-hill through a meadow and the north-east boundary of the lot is delimited by a containing wall with an average height of 5 m above the project site, leveled at an altitude of 1010 m above sea level.
The inspiring principles of the project are: - a sustainable approach to the site, maximizing and valorizing natural resources and minimizing soil aggression and escavations; - a compact and instrospective architectural entity that shows its internal vitality and its multiplicity of functions from outside; - a sustainable balance between high-tech and low-tech systems; - the expression, through architectural elements and materials, of an atmosphere that interprets the meaning of "coexistence" and "hospitality".
Regards the approach to the site, it is avoided the construction of the underground level and any excavations to don't interfere with the groundwater natural overflow, thus minimizing the use of reinforced concrete and structural costs.
The entrance of the vehicles is positioned on the east corner of the lot and the car park is located on ground floor along the entire length of the back of the building, with a bicycle storage in the central position.
The main entrance of the student housing is designed on the axis of the central access road which departs perpendicularly from the main road, so that it's clearly visible and recognizable for who comes from there.
The main entrance is in fact at the base of an 8.5 meter high bioclimatic greenhouse, characterizing the whole building for both aesthetical and technical reasons and constitute the core of the house for its recreational and space-sharing function.
With its south-west west orientation and having the roof also glazed, in the winter the greenhouse accumulate since morning an high daytime heat supply such as to guarantee high-levels of energy saving throughout the night.
In the summer, the greenhouse is shielded by brisse-soleil and windows are opened appropriately on the roof and on the front surface to naturally ventilate the space with fresh and clean mountain air.
The students recreational areas inside the greenhouse, extends on multiple levels, generating like terraces that face the winter garden or the exterior, and the differentiation of the sub-areas are based of different levels of privacy.
Inside the greenhouse natural and artificial environment are mixed together where elevated walkways suspended on trees, open spaces overlooking one another, interesting visual perspectives, contest the possibility of a unique, contiguous space , although flexible, in favor of a more vertical than horizontal spatial contiguity.
The relationship between natural and artificial elements is further expressed through the contrast of the external cladding material of the building, in local fir wood shingles, with the technologic metal roof of the building. The wooden shingles as a natural paradigm, have visual-tactile and even olfactory properties that trigger complex sensorial experiences and that recall a sense of warmth typical of the concept of "hospitality". The roof symbolizes instead the artificial/technological element: it is tailored to protect from mountain precipitation but to let light direct into the bioclimatic greenhouse and it is made of continuous-seamed aluminum metal sheets with integrated photovoltaics (amorphous silicon ).