Small volumes create peace and tranquillity

Messner house in Bolzano, Italy by noa – network of architecture

In a small village in South Tyrol, the traditional architecture is a strong presence. Here old barns stand alongside rendered façades, all linking back through history. When the architects from Noa were asked to create a new building to replace the plot’s original one from 1850, they decided to stick to tradition while at the same time giving the development of a new identity.

The structural frame of exposed larch also supports the typical pitched roof of the region. Externally, the first thing visitors notice, however, is the latticework that surrounds the building and extrapolates from the architectural features of traditional barns. The lattice also protects against strong sun and creates an expressive shadow play in the interior. Internally, the architects have used small, freestanding volumes instead of rooms. These are supported on glulam posts, but appear to be floating free, and the steps that lead visitors up to the volumes are meant to evoke walks in the nearby Dolomites.


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