The landscape and the territory surrounding a house are fundamental elements, which must not be forgotten but, on the contrary, must be enhanced. Creating a common thread that combines the style of the house with the nature that hosts it, is not always an easy task: often, in fact, architects and designers find themselves dealing with a barren, difficult or even degraded territory.
The commitment and passion of Alessio Lo Bello allowed the architect to win the National Selinunte Award 2018 with the project of the semi-detached C|U house, located in Termini Imerese, in the province of Palermo.
In this ideabook we discover some images of the semi-detached house designed with care and competence by the young and talented Sicilian architect.
Being situated in a territory difficult to define, the semi-detached house designed by Alessio Lo Bello had to be able to dialogue with both the elements that characterize the surrounding landscape. The semi-detached house enjoys an exciting view of the cliff and the blue horizon of the sea. Located behind Mount San Calogero, the area manages to reflect all the natural essence of a warm and welcoming land like Sicily. The architect has studied a project capable of enhancing both the landscape elements that characterize the territory: the sea in front, the mountain behind.
In the East, in contrast to the naturalistic component, one can see in the distance the industrial part that marks this territory. The villa is located about 7 km from the industrial area of Termini Imerese. In addition, in front of it, at a distance of about one kilometer and at an altitude lower than 80 meters, there is a small plant for sorting electricity. The exclusion from sight of these two uncomfortable presences has strongly characterized the design strategy, limiting everything that could divert attention from the beauty and uniqueness of the surrounding natural landscape.
The architect Alessio Lo Bello has been able to solve this dual condition of the surrounding landscape, creating a project aimed at exalting it and excluding the elements of disturbance. The villa, in fact, has been structured so that it faces the city of Termini Imerese and the spectacular line of the horizon created by the sea. The entire project is conceived as a perspective machine. The architect, thanks to the construction of deep horizontal planes and fifth walls, was able to exclude from view, from every interior space of the villa, the nearby electricity sorting plant and the distant industrial area, both of which have a great visual impact.
One of the secrets of the project carried out by the architect Lo Bello is the choice not to open windows on the area that houses the buildings of the industries: here is how all the rooms of the house, except the kitchen, hide from the eye the presence of distant industrial structures. The only room that has an opening on the latter is one of the two kitchens, but the view is equally screened thanks to the large and flourishing trees. The flat roof of the sleeping area below is designed as a roof garden full of succulent plants that help to shield the elements of visual disturbance.
The semi-detached house is divided into two different units, each about 145 square meters wide. The project was born from the idea of the terracing, strongly expressed in the structure of the lower floor. Both units are divided on two levels: one basement, where the most private areas of the house have been built, the other floor, located above ground, houses the spaces shared by the whole family.
The entrances of the two units are emphasized by two walks, one located in a secret garden and the other that creates a romantic and poetic atmosphere thanks to the underground passage. This second promenade has an enchanting, metaphysical effect, thanks to the reflection of the light filtered by the pool water. The secret garden, on the other hand, has been designed to extend the space of the children's bedroom, creating a comfortable outdoor area dedicated to playing. The garden is a protected and safe place as it is closed, accessible only through a comfortable covered walk.
The defined, clear and elegant lines contribute to making both patios absolutely perfect: the architect designed the structure so that they became contemplative places, enhanced by simple and rarefied architect elements.
The living room, thanks to the large windows, reflects the external landscape facing the natural beauty of the surrounding area and bringing notes of great poetry, romance and emotion to this space of the house. On both levels of the semi-detached house, the architect wanted to extend the horizontal floor by about 5 meters beyond the window, so that only the sea view could be seen, eliminating from sight all the industrial buildings located a few miles away.
Hiding industrial buildings was the only solution suited to the project. In order to do this, the architect chose to take advantage of the difference between the floors: the electrical energy sorting facility, in fact, located just under a kilometer away, is about 80 meters above the ground floor of the villa. This is how, thanks to the deep horizontal planes, it was easily hidden from view, disappearing from the landscape. The terrace, as you can see in this photo, has a depth of about 5 meters and is at the desk: this makes the floor of the bedrooms semi-recessed about 70 cm.
This project won the Selinunte 2018 National Award, enchanting the jury thanks to its essential and modern design, its simple and poetic lines, its relaxing atmosphere and its ability to enhance the surrounding landscape in the best possible way through the perspective plans, improving its impact on the semi-detached house: all elements that have allowed the architect Alessio Lo Bello and his project to reach such an important goal.