‘new cliffside residential complex’ by romano adolini architectsfront view



the new residential complex, carved into the vertical face of an abandoned tufa stone quarry in civita castellana, near viterbo, is located in a landscape characterized by steep natural gorges, where there are extensive remains of both religious and residential ancient cave structures and settlements. designed by italian architect romano adolini and chiara ercolini, a settlement for ‘cosmic era cavemen’ – as expressed by the author ermanno rea – reinstates the cave as an archetypal dwelling that has cultural and anthropological significance in the relationship between man and nature. the scheme is a modern reinterpretation of a manner of living and behaving which responds to the need to distance oneself from outside, a new dimension of hidden isolation, of seeking silence and meditation. it is also a new solution to the rehabilitation of quarry sites, currently abandoned and forgotten industrial by-products, located in wonderful landscapes and destined otherwise to become illegal dumping grounds.


the concept represents an intervention in the negative, of subtraction: the enormous south-facing tufa wall perforated with geometric openings that filter natural light into the large double-height spaces, characterized by niches and rooms carved into the rock. a perimeter body of water reflects the rising walls that still bear the signs of cutting tools used to quarry, accentuating the sense of isolation and defense, equipped with wooden bridges that function as links to a system of stairways, influenced by piranesi, a passageway of transition between exterior and interior.



new cliffside residential complex by romano adolini architectsside view



new cliffside residential complex by romano adolini architectslateral section



new cliffside residential complex by romano adolini architectssection



new cliffside residential complex by romano adolini architectsmodel study



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