Tonda's thousand years old hamlet was since the 70's converted into holiday resort. In 2006 the Building Permit allowed, among the 45 existing homes, the construction of an additional 32 apartments and a restaurant. The architecture is accordingly to the high demands of the landscape and townscape protection, carefully embedded in the topography. The building permit could be achieved in this historic and scenic environment only under a strict condition of conservational requirements.
The biggest challenge of this project was to realize in this very protected context a relatively large program so that the typical character of the landscape and local architecture will not be disturbed, and despite the use of traditional elements not to create a false "old towns look". A contrasting edification in a modern form language was out of question for the authorities, but no one wanted either a "stage architecture", which would made the historical buildings no longer distinguishable from the new ones. Harmonious insertion of new buildings with modern standards - in this case, for example larger windows, efficient apartment modules, patios, etc.- therefore meant a difficult synthesis.
The theme of integration and character preservation in imprinted regions is becoming increasingly important in the tourism architecture, and has known for a decisive factor for the popularity of a destination.
In Tonda following design principles were agreed:
- There are typical local materials used, such as natural stone, plaster, olive wood, terracotta (clay tiles).
- The selected design can be performed by the local constructors.
- The new façades are adapted to the old buildings through the use of color, and so they are visually integrated to the ensemble.
- The contemporary, advanced standard of design is visible at the proximity (details, window, etc.)
- The volumes are divided and folded in with the topography, and do not compete with the formerly fortified "Borgo". The two-storey building of modular basic typology will be assembled differently depending on the situation.
- With the orthogonal arrangement in plan along the axis of arrival, a pseudo-organic copy of the existent buildings is avoided. By structuring and integration into the area, the volumes appear smaller in appearance.
- In contrast to the "Borgo" the new apartments have a strong relation between inside-outside, the garden belong inseparable to the volumes and to the living spaces.
The residential units are suites for 2 persons, with kitchen and bathroom. Each unit has a private outdoor patio or terrace. No internal staircases, each unit located on the upper floor is accessed via an outside staircase and patio. Although all the apartments have equal areas and equipment, each unit is different due to their specific positioning and orientation. Precisely placed windows give each suite a unique outdoor space reference. Each guest will find himself in a unique situation.
The whole project for the extension of the existing hamlet is situated at three different locations. Until now only one was built, namely the largest with 20 units and the "Casaccia" (restaurant, reception, bar).
Architecture: Bauzeit Architekten SIA, CH - Biel-Bienne, mit Studio Florulli, I - Milano / Interior Design: Pia Schmid, CH - Zürich / Construction Management: Elisa Pedone, I - Milano / Structures project: FVPROGETTI SRL, Ing Filippo Valaperta, Ing Andrea De Ambroggi, I - Milano / Plants Project: Studio Proima ing., Ing Paolo Di Matteo, I - Montesilvano
Photos: Tommaso Giunchi