A contemporary archetype
Erich Milanese, Milanese Architects Office - MAO
This original home is located on the Veneto plain, in Santa Lucia di Piave municipality in the province of Treviso. It stands in an area of urban expansion where, ever since the beginning of the 20th century, architecture has become increasingly uniform, losing its local characteristics and historical memory. The idea behind this project was to contrast this trend and to reflect on a past that, while no longer a source of comforting tradition, nevertheless provides a living reference and new significance if suitably interpreted and adapted.
The monolithic and austere family home extends mainly along a north-south axis. Its reinterpretation of local architectural tradition eliminates all unnecessary volumes to leave elements like courtyard, portico and pitched roof clearly visible in plan and elevation, emphasising their importance. The volume develops in a continuous sequence of solids and spaces in which the barycentre is represented by a large, central courtyard around which the various parts of the house are arranged. The courtyard is therefore the element that establishes architectural order, giving the home a family dimension and differentiating between the open and private zones. This quest for essential form is supported by exceptionally precise execution.
One of the project’s design requirements was to ensure accurate alignment between the roof edges and outside walls. This was achieved partly by the application of thermal insulation and partly using prefabricated slotted elements to turn the roof-envelope system into a “uniform box”. This concept provided the basis of collaboration between Milanese Architects Office, responsible for the design and direction of works, and Mapei, the company responsible for the roof and façade systems.
One of the first decisions taken was to discount the possibility of using a polyurethane membrane as waterproofing, as this would not give the envelope the “natural consistency” the architect insisted on. After a thorough analysis of the structure and the fretted, sheet metal roof, and following the instructions of the architect, Erich Milanese, Mapei proposed a stratified roof covering of self-adhesive bituminous membrane, insulation panels, concrete casting, quartz sand, primer and two-component cement mortar, micro-perforated non-woven fabric and acrylic resin elastic paint that responded to the architect’s specifications and guaranteed excellent performance in terms of durability and impermeability. For the stratified, externally insulated envelope, Mapei adopted EPS insulating panels coated in single component cement mortar, a fibreglass-reinforced smoothing coat and an acrylic paint finishing coat.
The monolithic, material-inspired nature of the design is clearly reflected in the flooring of interior and outdoor spaces. In the loggia and indoor areas, the floor is covered in Cornerstone series stoneware tile by Ergon, a brand of Emilgroup. The textures of this series mimic natural stone surfaces from all over the world and reproduce some highly specific types, including geological rarities. To ensure a meticulous and top-quality finish, the tiles were installed using a high performance, zero slip, white cement adhesive with Low Dust technology (ultra-low emission of volatile organic substances), then finished with a high performance mortar grout.