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An Angular Copper-Clad Apartment Building in Italy

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Abstract Expressionism
Perched in the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site.
sesto, italy, apartment building, plasma studio

In the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site. Photos by Hertha Hurnaus

For a six-unit residential building in Italy’s northeast, architecture and design firm Plasma Studio took a decidedly contemporary approach to the regional vernacular. The color palette of existing houses in the area informed the choice of materials—blonde larch wood and dark gray pre-oxidized copper—and building codes mandated a pitched roof, but the structure boasts a highly geometric form (the firm’s signature move), courtesy of balconies that jut from the facade, echoing the roof’s slope. In profile, the domicile has the prototypical gable, but from all other angles it takes on the look of abstracted folding planes that express the steep site, says architect Ulla Hell of Plasma Studio.

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