Architecture

Energy efficient home rises up and over dramatic rocky landscape

Energy efficient home rises up...
Italian architectural firm Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio has recently finished a stunning single-family home that balances on 12 slim pillars
Italian architectural firm Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio has recently finished a stunning single-family home that balances on 12 slim pillars
View 21 Images
Italian architectural firm Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio has recently finished a stunning single-family home that balances on 12 slim pillars
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Italian architectural firm Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio has recently finished a stunning single-family home that balances on 12 slim pillars
Casa VCS is built into a reinforced concrete retaining wall that sits at the cusp of the rocky downward slope
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Casa VCS is built into a reinforced concrete retaining wall that sits at the cusp of the rocky downward slope
The interior of the home is separated by a central floor-to-ceiling unit
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The interior of the home is separated by a central floor-to-ceiling unit
A steel-grated walkway extends along the perimeter of the home, creating a large outdoor terrace
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A steel-grated walkway extends along the perimeter of the home, creating a large outdoor terrace
Casa VCS boasts an aesthetic of lightness and transparency, as it blends into its surrounding landscape
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Casa VCS boasts an aesthetic of lightness and transparency, as it blends into its surrounding landscape
The interior is softened with the use of timber furnishings and large floor-to-ceiling glass panels
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The interior is softened with the use of timber furnishings and large floor-to-ceiling glass panels

The single-family home balances on 12 slim pillars, suspending the house over a dramatic rocky landscape
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The single-family home balances on 12 slim pillars, suspending the house over a dramatic rocky landscape

Casa VCS balances on 12 slim pillars, allowing the house to appear as if it is floating above the dramatic rocky landscape
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Casa VCS balances on 12 slim pillars, allowing the house to appear as if it is floating above the dramatic rocky landscape
The entrance of the home is accessed via a steel grated walkway
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The entrance of the home is accessed via a steel grated walkway
The home is built with a strong steel frame and is supported by 12 steel pillars
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The home is built with a strong steel frame and is supported by 12 steel pillars
Casa VCS is built with lightness and transparency
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Casa VCS is built with lightness and transparency
A steel walkway creates a large outdoor terrace to enjoy the views across the valley
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A steel walkway creates a large outdoor terrace to enjoy the views across the valley
The bespoke unit that divides the home features a built-in library and shelving on one side and a compact modern kitchen on the other
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The bespoke unit that divides the home features a built-in library and shelving on one side and a compact modern kitchen on the other
The orientation of the home takes advantage of natural sunlight all day long
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The orientation of the home takes advantage of natural sunlight all day long
Casa VCS design plans by Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio
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Casa VCS design plans by Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio
Casa VCS is built with a strong steel frame and is supported by 12 steel pillars
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Casa VCS is built with a strong steel frame and is supported by 12 steel pillars
The home is purposefully designed to coexist in harmony with its environment
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The home is purposefully designed to coexist in harmony with its environment

The home is built using concrete, stone and steel
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The home is built using concrete, stone and steel
The building is conceptually formed by two horizontal and parallel plates that contain different volumes in terms of dimensions and functions
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The building is conceptually formed by two horizontal and parallel plates that contain different volumes in terms of dimensions and functions
Casa VCS floorplans
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Casa VCS floorplans
Casa VCS not only boasts modern and luxury aesthetics, but respects the landscape
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Casa VCS not only boasts modern and luxury aesthetics, but respects the landscape
View gallery - 21 images

Italian architectural firm Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio has recently finished a stunning single-family home that balances on 12 slim pillars, raising the house up and over a dramatic rocky landscape. Located in the small town of Ragusa in Sicily, Italy, Casa VCS boasts an aesthetic of lightness and transparency, as it blends into its surrounding landscape while leaving minimal impact on the natural terrain.

The Casa VCS was completed in collaboration with engineering firm Studio Igegneria Cappello and was inspired by architecture trends from the 1930s. The home is purposefully designed to coexist in harmony with its environment, and is built using concrete, stone and steel. The interior is softened with the use of timber furnishings and large floor-to-ceiling glass panels that capture the valley views surrounding the home.

“[Casa VCS] is located in the Modica countryside, on a site characterized by a small slope that suddenly changes into a steep rocky escarpment,” says Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio. “A place where the view literally seems to ‘jump’ into the void of the valley before stopping on the opposite side. In fact, within the countryside of the Hyblean plateau it’s typical to find this type of construction, characterized by slender metal profiles that support large trusses and metal sheet roofs. Structures that for their lightness and transparency, in our opinion, do not burden heavily on the landscape.”

Casa VCS balances on 12 slim pillars, allowing the house to appear as if it is floating above the dramatic rocky landscape
Casa VCS balances on 12 slim pillars, allowing the house to appear as if it is floating above the dramatic rocky landscape

Casa VCS is built into a reinforced concrete retaining wall that sits at the cusp of the rocky downward slope, allowing the house to appear as if it is floating above the ravine. To achieve this, the home is built with a strong steel frame and is supported by 12 steel pillars. The entrance of the home is accessed via a steel-grated walkway, which extends along the perimeter of the home, creating a large secondary outdoor terrace.

“The building is conceptually formed by two horizontal and parallel plates that contain different volumes in terms of dimensions and functions,” says the studio. “The attention and respect for the place are not limited only to the shape of the building, but to all the planning measures necessary to make this architecture sustainable.”

The interior of the home consists of a large open plan living and dining room, separated by central floor-to-ceiling unit. This bespoke unit features a built-in library and shelving on one side, making up the confines for the lounge area, and a compact modern kitchen on the other side, creating a separate dining space without the need for walls or doors. The home is completed with two double bedrooms, two separate bathrooms, laundry, home office and ample space for storage.

The bespoke unit that divides the home features a built-in library and shelving on one side and a compact modern kitchen on the other
The bespoke unit that divides the home features a built-in library and shelving on one side and a compact modern kitchen on the other

The orientation of the home takes advantage of natural sunlight all day long. In addition, the inclusion of high thermal performance windows, along with a series of openings and shaded areas, help maintain optimal interior temperatures throughout both the winter and summer months.

Casa VCS is also fitted with photovoltaic roof panels and has been classified NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building), confirming the home’s overall net consumption for heating, cooling, hot water, ventilation, and lighting, is close to zero.

The overall result is an architectural home that not only boasts modern and luxury aesthetics, but is designed with impressive energy efficiency while respecting the surrounding landscape.

Source: Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio via Archello

View gallery - 21 images
4 comments
4 comments
Username
The inspiration for this was obviously the Johnson house in Connecticut. It was built in 1948, not the 1930's. Unlike that house, this one is not stunning and its steel roof makes it look like an industrial warehouse.
Germano Pecoraro Designer
I am very perplexed that it is NZEB.
It seems designed for Tropical areas, but not for Temperate climates with hot summers and cold winters.
Bob809
Germano Pecoraro, I was going to say the same. High winds, driving rain, snow... how might this affect the structure of the home over years, or less? How might this home react in an earthquake, and yeah, it looks like an industrial design, not a home. I get the solar panels... there has to be more to a house like this, making more use of its surroundings to keep it sustainable. Also, for me, the interior looks too stark, not at all homely. Love the view however.
Hasler
This is a city apartment set on a mountain. Arrive by car and walk in on concrete paving into an elevated artificial world. See nature but never have to touch it. So sterile and so sad.