As co-owners of the renowned Le Vigne di Zamò winery, third-generation winemaker Silvano Zamò and his wife Brigitte know that wine is best enjoyed with a view. So, when the couple found a hilltop location in the tiny northern Italian village of Camporosso with picture-perfect valley views, they turned to Italian architecture firm GEZA to design a holiday home that would embrace the vistas and accommodate their love for entertaining.
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But the site’s panoramic views also came with complex terrain. The elevated location was challengingly steep, and the architects needed to carefully navigate a sharp rock-studded slope to create a well-anchored home that would feel like a fluid extension of the landscape, rather than an unsympathetic addition dropped onto the site.
The solution was to construct a stable concrete envelope split into two interconnected gabled volumes that step down the existing slope and frame views through east-facing glazed gable ends.
"This section achieves two objectives: one external and one internal," explain the architects. "From the outside, the house seems to ‘slip’ on the ground—the ground is inclined and fluid, and the house is light and does not impose terraces or other violent works on the landscape. From the inside, the volume of the living area is defined by an impressive exposed concrete roof, which follows the slanting of the two volumes with different heights. It seems to enter the mountain."
"The materials that make up the project reflect the basic ideas [for lightness]," adds the firm. "The construction is in concrete, but it is visible only inside. The exposed concrete floors and ceilings, suspended on glass facades, accentuate the lightness of the roof."
To further emphasize this sense of lightness, the architects extended the roof eaves and floors to create wraparound outdoor terraces surrounded by vertical larch sunshades.
"From the outside, the house is characterized by an external ‘skin’ made of wood, like many traditional alpine buildings," says the firm. "Today this facade loses the traditional functions related to agriculture and breeding, and becomes a sunbreak, a necessary element for solar control and energy efficiency. A fundamental architectural occasion."
The interior layout is designed to optimize views. The main living spaces, including the master bedroom and office, face the valley in the east, while the service rooms, garage, and entrance are tucked into the west side.
The entrance sequence begins with a short hallway located at the intersection of the two gabled volumes. This leads up to the spacious, open-plan Great Room with a double-height living area on the left and the dining room and kitchen on the right. Massive walls of glass slide back to connect the interior with the outdoor terrace, where uninterrupted views of the landscape can be enjoyed.
Above the living area, the master bedroom and office are positioned for the best views of the Camporosso church and bell tower. Two additional bedrooms are located in the basement, which also houses the sauna and wellness area.
"The most dramatic part of the project is the section of the roof with the compluvium that signals the division of the living room into two parts," explain the architects. "The lightness of the section-line, together with the heaviness of the concrete, creates an unexpected sensation for those who enter the large living room for the first time."
Builder/General Contractor: Impresa Edile Pellegrini & C
Structural & Civil Engineer: Alessandro D'Agostino
Landscape Design/Lighting Design/Interior Design: GEZA
Mechanical Design: HT Engineering
Electrical Design: Studio Battista
Mechanical Plans: Astel Srl
Electrical Plans: Elettrotecnica Manzanese
Carpentry: Malisan Franco & C snc
Furniture and Boiserie: Floreani Snc