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Design Stefania Saracino e Franco Tagliabue Architetti, Bozen/Como
Engineering Ing. Giovanni Periotto, Trento
Energy Energytech Ingegneri, Bozen
Photo Davide Cornacchini, Venice
Construction Damiani-Holz&Ko, Bressanone
Waterproofing Drytech Italia, Como
Drytech Tank 725 m²
RIGA HOUSE, COMANO / Designing a house for a farming family and farmhouse holiday accommodation for their guests as part of a farming business, without interrupting the precious continuity of an alpine landscape made up of orchards and sloping meadows.
An ambitious request, to which the Architects Stefania Saracino and Franco Tagliabue gave a radical solution, setting Casa Riga directly in the mountain on the outskirts of Comano Terme, in Trentino.
The topography of the farm was the criterion for the locariona of the building which stands near a terrace and at the intersection of existing accesses and roads, consuming practically no land. The project was therefore completed with few signs in the landscape: the cut into the slope and the openings of the patios, the lawn that continues on the roof, the glass fronts protected by an overhang. Instead of adding volume on the ground, the two architects from Bolzano produced invisible architecture from the mountain and perceivable only as a horizontal cut from the valley which, moreover, reflects the colours and tones of surrounding nature.
The two units – the farmer's home and guest accommodation facility – form a single dwelling but are distinct due to their different aspects: to the west for the home - with a sensational view of the valley -; to the south, towards the stream and the wood, for the glass front of the seven guest rooms. The breakfast room acts as a junction and link between the two locations.
Thanks to the passive air conditioning systems for controlling heat input and the patios that guarantee maximum use of natural lighting in the interior, the structure is also energy-efficient and integrated into the environment. The depth of the overhang – designed based on the sun’s trajectory – ensures sufficient shading of the rooms during the summer and adequate sunshine coming through in winter.
The structures in contact with the ground, the concrete bed and walls against the ground, were built using the Drytech Tank System: a single concrete waterproof structure, with the construction details sealed using injections of DRYflex resin, an elastic and expanding gel which seals joints, penetrations and cracks by pressure, saturating each detail for the full thickness of the structure. Uncompromising waterproofing, seamlessly integrated with external structures, covered with local materials for harmonious integration of the building into the landscape. The visible parts of the walls, for example, are covered with local stone recovered from the terraces on the farm.
The solutions adopted have ensured that the building was classified “Casaclima Oro” (Gold ClimateHouse). The highly insulated wooden external structure with load-bearing panels has allowed limited use of technological systems. In addition to passive solar energy storage systems, the building is heated and cooled by a low-enthalpy heat pump, coupled with vertical geothermal probes.

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