modostudio constructs elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation in italy
photo © laura egger

 

 

 

the project of the ‘elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation‘ has been realized thanks to an international architectural competition held in 2009, which saw the participation of fifteen architectural teams from italy, switzerland, austria, and germany. out of the collection, italian firm modostudio was selected by a jury composed of thomas herzog, andrea vidotto, vittorio magnano lampugnani, and hermann kaufmann. the aim of the contest was to design a building able to host the activities of the homonymous cultural and research organization. 

 


video courtesy of modostudio

 

 

 

the building is located in the municipality of laives, near bolzano, on the slope of a mountain enjoying a panoramic view. the work seeks to preserve this surrounding environment, as the facilities insist on the same footprint of the previous structures, which have now been demolished. 

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
panoramic view
photo © laura egger

 

 

 

the overall complex is divided into two pieces. the first appears as the headquarters, which consists of a series of architectural volumes: a transparent glass and steel volume that hosts research programs, a wood cladding leisure and dining hall, a supporting base for the activities of the foundation, and a wine cellar. the second is a small adjacent residential housing unit that has been granted its own privacy.

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
views of the exterior characteristics
photo © laura egger

 

 

 

the project expresses the tension generated by the orographic characteristics of the site and the specific functions required by the brief. in order to do so, visual connections are emphasized between the interior spaces and the external environment. the formal gestures have been created to protect guests from the particular climatic conditions, but still let them take in the benefits of the topography.

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
interior view
photo © laura egger

 

 

 

a majority of the construction materials were recovered from the demolition process and become elements of dialogue with the history and culture of the region. with hand-cut larch shingles, the exterior plaster, and the porphyry stones, they pay homage to the nearby traditional dwellings and offices. bringing this aesthetic into the present-day, innovative technology solutions have been adopted. the lower part of the foundation is made of structural panels while the upper volume displays a sophisticated opening window system. these features provide a casaclima A classification with the distinction of having no controlled indoor ventilation, replaced by the possibility of using the hot air generated in the glass massing, acting as a buffer zone. meanwhile, a large, thermally-insulated tank of 20,000 liters is supported by a solar heating system and a biomass boiler to satisfy the radiant heating floor throughout the complex.

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
looking down the slope of the mountain
photo © laura egger

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
multipurpose room
photo © laura egger 

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
the complex is a combination of shingles and glass materials
photo © laura egger

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
night view
photo © laura egger

modostudio elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation italy
outside view
photo © laura egger

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

location: laives, italy
client: elisabeth and helmut uhl foundation
phase: restricted architectural competition
GFA area: 1.450 sqm 
construction budget: € 3.433.601,27
year: 2009-2014
design team: modostudio (fabio cibinel, roberto laurenti, giorgio martocchia)
structural engineer: ing. gilberto sarti
mechanical engineer and klimahaus consultant: p.i. thomas dissertori, arch. alberto micheletti
site manager: arch. marco de fonzo
contractor: kargruber-stoll GmbH
steel structures: premetal spa
wooden structure and wooden floor: thoma holz GmbH
special automations: meccatronica D.B.D. srl
photography: laura egger

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.