Lo chalet dalle prospettive ribaltate
Reversing perspectives is a commonly used expression that invites us to abandon old habits in order to look at things from a different, sometimes opposite, point of view. In the case of the Sestriere residence rethought by Icona, the meaning of that expression has become literal. The house is a mountain residence located within a complex of mountain chalets and is composed of the union of two overlapping units, on the ground and second floors. Icona was asked to reorganize and redefine the spaces according to a more linear logic, functional to the enhancement of the rooms and views. Addressing with tact, sensitivity and intelligence the clusters of affectivity and memories that involved a client who was very affectionate to the house, owned for more than thirty years. At the culmination of a long and dialogic process that produced a multitude of options, the final design expresses the most radical and shocking version of those proposed, and maybe for that precise reason also the most convincing to the clients. The architects decided to focus design highlights on two major macro-themes, previously little explored: views and materials. To work on the first ones, a counterintuitive choice was made, placing the main access to the mansion, living and dining on the second floor instead of the ground floor, to make the most of the panoramic views. With the old partitions removed, the large windows are now able to frame magnificent 180-degree portions of landscapes and views of the valleys in full openness, with no obstacles to interfere with perception. The new plan distribution draws very proportionate spaces, unpacking the volume and soaring it thanks to a marked verticality in the interior choices. Reinforcing the identity and elegance of the house, in fact, the measured choice of reducing the materials used to a very dry palette makes an essential contribution: wood, reclaimed antique fir, dark iron, stone and finally white plaster, mostly used as a neutral and balancing element. The continuity of spaces and materials helped generate a feeling of uniformity, and the residence finally acquired a sense of logic and identity: the rooms no longer appear as simple rooms juxtaposed next to each other, but become elements of a complex, fluid architectural ecosystem with a precise character. At last, views and perspectives are honored in their importance while the skillful and careful use of wood succeeds in communicating the idea of an antiquity in materials in the contemporary nature of all details. By reversing the point of view, Icona has given this intimate and familiar mountain residence a new life, a new style, and a new soul.