The night’s sky is eternal and inaccessible, and it will remain that way. However, through architecture, one can provide the ideal situation to gaze into it’s mysterious depths. This project refines itself to the two most essential aspects of an observatory house; a simple yet personal platform for viewing the stars and a condensed house to live in beneath it.
At the foot of the hill, guests arrive upon a monumental stone mass rising out of the hillside of Roccascalegna. Carved along it’s length, an exposed staircase leads guests towards the sky. On top, guests find themselves floating above the lush canopy of the olive trees. At this level, with absolutely no obstructions, one finds the purest and most complete view of the infinite night sky. The house beneath focuses the guests attention to the imidiate surrounding nature instead. The raw materiality and thickness of the solid stone walls are reminiscient of the medievil castle above.
Using this same principle in the public realm, we designed a building that acts as a hub of hospitality for visitors of the Castle, guests of the Oberservatory Houses and locals alike. A cafe, which doubles as a reception, acts as an extention to the church piazza, vitalising the existing space, whilst the terrace offers panoramic views of the landscape.
These minimal interjections reflect our teams sensitive approach to this unique and historically valuable site. Also reflecting our desire to create essential, pragmatic pieces of architecture that improve, not impose on the experience, whilst all being united under the concept of observation.
CASA DI SCALE
Architecture Idea Competition organised by YAC Credits : Benjamin Nicaud & Matthew Jones & Benjamin RuschRoccascalagna, Italy, 2017