Sited on the fringes of a small town in northern Italy, this highly sustainable and compact single-family house has been designed in a way that deliberately favours solar orientation within the geometry of the parcel, and utilizes the principles of passive solar heating to maximise thermal loads during the winter months. On the south end of the site, the building’s façade bends into a trapezoidal funnel that facilitates maximum penetration of direct sunlight during the winter, and minimises summer overheating by doubling as a large brise-soleil that shades the building when the sun is at its highest position.

Spatially, the plan of the building is organised around a central living room that divides the house into two symmetrical wings: one that emphasises public, ‘collective’ functions of the household, such as the kitchen and dining spaces; and one that emphasises individual privacy for the members of the family, including a generous master suite. A small vestibule on the north end of the house serves as a prelude to the main living room, framing views of the surrounding garden.

The house is built entirely of wood, with a prefabricated cross-laminated timber construction finished in torched larch timber planks. Our choices of material celebrate the building’s eventual weathering, deliberately minimising the frequency of operational maintenance whilst allowing the building to slowly develop a textured coloration and patina.


Client: Private
Use: Single family house
Budget: 350,000 €
Bldg. Gross Area: 135 m²
Structure: Timber
EU Energetic Class: A+
Status: Completed


Advisors: Studio Ing. Giandomenico Merlo (M&E), Ing. Adriano Mion (Structures), Ing. Alberto Asquini (Acoustics)
General contractor: ZANINI HOME Srl
Photos: Massimo Crivellari