Project:  Giovanni Vaccarini

Chronology:   2007

Staff:   Timothy Brownlee, Marco Zitti (project responsible)

Client:  BNL Fondi Immobiliari

Location:  Perugia



Energy management and the response of volumes to the sun become the semantic matrix of the design of the building envelope.
The envelope is defined (in compliance with the building code) by plastered masses cut by a system of openings, "informed" by the type and duration of exposure to the sun.
This system ensures the correct solar exposure (and therefore light, solar energy, etc.) of the various parts of the project. The wall surface behaves like a camera "shutter" whose aperture changes in relation to changing (average) environmental conditions.
Light is truly one of the key materials of the project.
The envelope is imagined as a multifaceted system able to optimise the collection/screening of the sun’s energy. However, in doing so it defines a variegated skin that responds to light like the crown of a tree.
This device turns an envelope finished in a single material (earth coloured plaster) into a vibrating surface that is dematerialized and reminiscent of the paintings of Balla and Boccioni.


Designing social housing requires careful considerations of budget and maintenance and management costs.
This condition was not approached as a “penalty” that simply reduces the quality of finishes, but rather as a fundamental part of the project.
The design does not blindly entrust architectural form to technological decisions (brise soleils, control devices, etc.) or complex materials, but instead to reduce their contributions to a minimum.
The poetry of architecture must be sought in the formal and expressive capacity of simple elements: the plastered mass of the wall, the positioning of views and glimpses.
The project interprets the volumes of the master plan as "clay" bodies floating atop a green podium.