Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti

Text description provided by the architects. This house represents our successful attempt at building a “non-traditional” home sustainably. A home built on the border between Italy and Switzerland, but also on the philosophical border dividing those who believe nothing should change and those willing to experiment with solutions to face the current climate crisis.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade

The owners made a conscious and brave choice, intended to prove that it’s possible to build with materials that aren’t necessarily concrete and bricks. This allowed us to use our craft to imagine a more sustainable world.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Exterior Photography, Facade
Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Exterior Photography, Brick, Facade

The house has a rectangular floor plan and is built on a garden plot surrounded by detached houses. The ground floor features an entrance, a kitchen with a central island and breakfast area, a living area with a dining table, a bathroom, and two separate bedrooms for the couple’s children. The first floor overlooks the living room, and the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom entirely take it up; the en-suite shower is lit exclusively through zenith lighting.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Image 21 of 27

The house features open spaces and encourages conviviality; family members can interact from different rooms at the two different levels, through elements and spaces that are in part shared.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Interior Photography, Chair
Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Interior Photography

The main features of the house are the two-level living area and the big staircase linking the two stories; this is almost a sculpture, built with pleated wood and painted anthracite grey. The feature set against the living area wall (which was originally conceived as a staircase/bookcase) fills the height of the space, creating a dialogue between the contrasting ceramic volumes of the backsplash and the big porthole opening up to the mountains.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Interior Photography, Table, Chair
Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Interior Photography, Table

The house’s utility consumption is low, as it features a heating system paired with a controlled mechanical ventilation system. Overall consumption is further reduced through a solar panel system. The nature surrounding all spaces inspired the owners’ intention to create a truly sustainable building: a house made of wood, metal, and cork.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Image 25 of 27

The building’s foundation is reinforced and compacted concrete, which rises above the ground by about 50 cm. Above it lays the wooden frame structure of the house. In the interior, the dividing paneling is made of fiber plaster, whereas the finishings feature oak parquet and tiles in varying sizes.

On the outside, the entire ground floor is clad in cork – the material was left uncovered and pantographed. This decoration is simple and elegant, and it adds elegance to the external volume, which would otherwise be too austere. On the first floor, the vertical walls and pitched roof are both covered in anthracite standing seam metal.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Exterior Photography

The materials and color palette of the house create a dialogue with the mountains surrounding the valley; colors blend in with the trees and rocks in the surrounding landscape.

It seems almost paradoxical that such a unique house, so starkly different from its neighboring ones, almost disappears by camouflaging amidst the surrounding landscape.

Casa 9 Border House / LCA Architetti / luca compri architetti - Exterior Photography, Windows

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