LOCATION Montorfano, Como, Italy
YEAR 2017 – 2020
THEME Architecture, Dwelling spaces, House
DESIGNERS Tomaso Monestiroli, Giovanni Uboldi

The design of a house for an architect is always a moment of deep reflection on the essence of architecture. Ernesto Nathan Rogers, addressing the theme of the monument, said that the monument for modern architecture is no longer the house of the prince or the house of God: monument is the house of man. This statement makes it clear how profound a reflection the theme of the house imposes. Home is the place of being, it is the place to which one returns each time to find oneself.

Our home is the model that we try each time to replicate in other places precisely to experience the feeling of “feeling at home.” It is therefore the place in which each person identifies. The responsibility of the architect who designs homes for others is therefore very high. Being able to grasp the profound meaning of each person’s dwelling, without failing in one’s own, is extremely complex. I am certainly not referring to issues related to the details of finishes (which often kindle the spirits of clients more than anything else). I am referring to the compositional structure of the house, to the interpretation of the theme of living even as a function of where to place the house. I am referring to the typological root of reference, to problems related to the distributive character of spaces. A house is built, just like the city, through the relationship between private and collective spaces and on how these spaces are distributed among themselves and relate to the landscape (whether urban or natural). The project occasion is a piece of land on the edge of a large pine and chestnut forest. The land, with an elongated trapezoidal shape and a fair slope, enjoys a privileged view of the landscape to the west, placing itself in an elevated position compared to the few houses built in the surroundings. The house is distributed on a single level through the construction of two opposing C-shaped walls of face brick, open to the garden to the east and west, respectively. This formal division, into two distinct, autonomous parts corresponding to the functional division between living and sleeping areas, is an expressive result of the relationship between private and collective spaces. The two parts of the house are connected by a lower body, entirely clad in stained wood corresponding to the entrance of the house from which everything is distributed. From the entrance hall, overcoming a height difference of three steps, one enters the large living room open to the landscape and prolonged by a terrace protected by a pergola supported by a triptych system built from white concrete rectangular section pillars. The terrace is the “place” of the house, shaded in summer and sunny in winter, from which to contemplate the horizon. Similarly, the rooms overlook a patio carved into the hillside, protected by a retaining wall, facing east and exposed to the morning sun. All around is the dense chestnut forest.

Photo by Marco Menghi


L. Cardani (edit by) Studio Monestiroli  Opere e progetti di Architettura Electa Milan 2021