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Casa del Masso, Lake Como

Contemporary Italian Architecture design by Marco Castelletti, Europe

24 Jun 2008

Lake Como House

Date built: 2004

Design: Studio di Architettura Marco Castelletti

Photographs : Filippo Simonetti – Brunate

At the end of 2002 the clients contacted Marco Castelletti and other architects to decide who will design their son’s house.

They wanted to built this new house next to their one, in the garden faces the lake, and they wished an architecture inspired to the “razionalismo comasco”, the typical architecture of the thirties which had as main figure the architect Giuseppe Terragni.

So they chose the project which was better in terms from their expectations and selected mine. The project’s main idea gave the name to the building: “casa del masso”.

Lake Como house Lake Como house Lake Como house Lake Como house

The house, set on a steep slope above the street, can be clearly noticed by the opposite lakeside.

The building stands by the side of the client’s old house designed by engineer Luciano Trolli in 1955, and it takes advantage of a little tract of flat land as the previous house. The house is linked to the street by a long flight of steps which winds along the slope and it’s organised in two floors.

The composition is based on the intersection of two volumes: the first one, facing the lake, is an horizontal structure supported by pilotis where there are all the living and bedrooms wherehas the second one is vertical holding the staicase and the services rooms.

On the first floor the living room crosses the house and is directly connected with the slope behind. Here the presence of a erratic boulder, in italian language “masso” (here is where the name of the house comes), suggested to incorporate it in the dwelling as the characterising element of the space so that it seems that the house is anchored to the slope in this point.

The boulder can be seen trought a glass laying on the floor of the living room.
The planimetric organisation of the two floors reflects the volumes’ one and divides the internal surfaces in two parts: the first in front, which faces directly the lake, including living room and bedrooms and the other on the back including stair and services.

A long and narrow corridor, equipped with closets, separates these two rectangles: they are perpendicolary intersected by the vertical juxtaposition of the system which connect the groundfloor porch of the entrance with the living room on the first floor.
You can enter the property from the ramp which comes up to the level of the parking area over the car boxes on the street.

From the parking you can reach the main entrance with a flight of steps or an elevator running on the side of the garden.
After reaching the main entrance a footpath covered by a overhanging volume introduces in a little hall where you can see the landscape and the monuments of the city.

From here a large staircase takes to a atrium with the large glass window which frames the erratic boulder.
To the external footpath is connected a little apartament with two floors and the staircase leading to the second floor.
The internal layout of the main dwelling put the kitchen, the living room and some other rooms towards the lake, while bathrooms, services and the laundry are put towards the slope.

From here the staircase goes up to the upper floor where there are the terrace and some storage rooms.
The materials used to build the house enhance the volumetric composition and the difference between the horizontal volume, suspended and completely covered by a plaster made also by a white marble dust, and the vertical covered with a natural stone called Iragna, laid down in horizontal layers with different length and thickness.
The same stone was used for the external pavements, the main entrance staircase and the terrace floor on the highest level.

The large windows are divided in sliding parts with electrical rolling shutter made by aluminium.
The building set towards the south-west part of the lake takes advantage of a really good solar exposure which allowes to have all the living rooms and the bedrooms facing south and services and bathrooms facing north.

The clients were really satisfied of the project and followed all the phases of the building that, because of the particular nature of the steep land, involved many problems.

The crane to build the house was placed on the slope with an helicopter able to transport heavy weights. However the house was carried out in seventeen months, from may 2003 to december 2004, as provided

Lake Como house – Photographer:
Filippo Simonetti – Brunate (Como)

Casa del Masso – Building Information

Project title: Casa del Masso
Project location: Como Italy
Client: private owners
Architectural design by: Studio di Architettura Marco Castelletti
Interior design by: Studio di Architettura Marco Castelletti
Landscape design by: Studio di Architettura Marco Castelletti
Structural design by: Ingeneer. Vittorio Montanini
HVAC design by Ingeneer. Vittorio Montanini
Lighting design by: Zumtobel
Main Contractor: Impresa Biacchi s.a.s. – Plesio (Co)
Landscape contractor: Impresa Biacchi s.a.s. – Plesio (Co)

Site Area: 3000 sq/mt
Built up area: 200 sq/mt
Budget: 750.000,00 euro
Cost per sq. metre: 1.800,00 euro
Project Status: carried out

Casa del Masso images / information from Studio di Architettura Marco Castelletti

Marco Castelletti

Location: Lake Como, Italy, southern Europe

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