- Architects: Plasma Studio
- Location: Sexten, Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol, Italy
- Lead Architects: Ulla Hell, Eva Castro, Holger Kehne, Chuan Wang
- Area: 602.0 m2
- Project Year: 2017
- Photographs: Holger Kehne
- Collaborators: Peter Pichler, Micol Fronza
From the architect. Residence Villa Drei Birken is located on a hillside in the Dolomites at the end of a residential area. The Villa, built in 1960 and renovated in the 80’s, originally consisted of a simple and low volume with a private apartment and four-holiday flats. The designed extension will add six-holiday apartments and further functional and common spaces. The facade opens through a V-shaped surface from the totally closed north facade to the south glazed facade, which is directed to the sun and the panoramic view of the Dolomites.
Since the new construction does not lean on the existing structure but is separated by a shadow gap, the villa still enjoys its independence. The new volume, perfectly integrated into the hillside thanks to the accessible extensive green roof with integrated terrace, is elongated and occupies the full width the plot. Through a slight rotation the new construction awerts from the existing building in order to direct the south facade to the sun and the panoramic view. The joint in the basement connects the extension with the existing building and serves as enclosed common room. The east and north façades are relatively closed because of the interior functional distribution; furthermore, the north side is designed to show the clear separation between the new and the existing building. The volume is accessible from the street side, where also the car parking is located. The six spacious holiday apartments are directed to the sun, with a panoramic view of the Dolomites.
The new building uses reduced colors and materials: the volume is coated with horizontal oxidized copper sheets of various width, large glazed surfaces bring the sun inside of the building, and the balconies are covered with larch wood. The larch wood is treated with a pigmented graying solution of iron sulfate, in order to diversify the north service volume. Copper and larch wood are exposed to a natural change of color caused by the atmospheric influence of sun, rain, and snow; this phenomenon, in addition to the repetition of the wooden color code of the Villa, accentuates the integration of the building in the natural environment.
The interior is clear, simple and functional. The furniture is made of birch plywood, which is oiled or dark stained so as to be similar to the copper.
It has been paid particular attention to the sustainability of the construction phases. We used measures to improve the energy performance of the building, such as doors and windows with triple glass, controlled ventilation system, a heating system connected to a wooden pellets district heating plant and heat-sound insulation with wooden fiber.