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PRATA - MASSA MARITTIMA

2018

I have been visiting the town for several years now and mentally I get lost in its intricate alleyways full of crevices, ravines, small-large details that are forges of ideas... that move thoughts beyond the thick walls that make up the urban fabric of this small village "independent" from everything and everyone. The paved driveway climb does not do credit to the Middle Ages which sculpted its "Genius-Loci" but this can still be perceived walking up the steep dirt road "Piantatina" where slowly you can admire the dense interweaving of housing volumes and below ... in the field of "blackberries" ... you can feel the majesty of what must have been the walls, which in ancient times surrounded it ... not even the modern "bridge", as the "pratigiani" call it, has smoothed out this feature.

In European countries and especially in Italy, the link with the house is usually for "the whole life" and 90% of the houses are "full" of memories and traditions; therefore it is our task as designers to understand the needs of the customer by creating the right synergy with them which is the basis for a good final result!!!

The small premise above helps us to enter into our design idea, the strong historical references that characterize the place partially mark the three solutions that we are going to present below.

The challenge that we were faced with fascinated us from the very first moment precisely because of the strong characterization of the two U.I. to merge. These essentially present three points to be analysed: the first point concerns a jump in altitude between the two I.U. about 70 cm; the second point is the lack of natural light in some areas of the same; the third point is that when the works are completed, it should not be perceived that they are born as U.I. separate.
To try to solve the three points above, we worked at 360°, immediately imagining everything as a single body. To combine the two

U.I. on the first level there is an important portal, designed in corten, where in the thickness of the wall some steps compensate for the difference in height. We work with zenithal light to compensate for the more shaded areas by making cuts both on the roof and on the floor. The stairwell is studied, fragmented, "exploded" to make it become one and only, the portal that serves as a union of the two landings is also designed in corten steel and is aligned with the first above. Precisely this alignment serves to standardize the space and create that movement necessary to live the house that will be as a whole.
In order not to damage the flooring of the current Casa1, recently restored, it was thought to also repave Casa2 with the same
type of porcelain stoneware or make an earth gray resin on the latter which, with the formation of cracks over time, restore historicity to a purely industrial material but visually bring back the old earthen floors still present today in the "stalls" of the Borgo.

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