traverso vighy: tvzeb zero energy building, italy traverso vighy: tvzeb zero energy building, italy
mar 06, 2013

traverso vighy: tvzeb zero energy building, italy


‘tvzeb’ by traverso-vighy, vicenza, italyall images courtesy of tvzeb



the ‘tvzeb’ architecture studio is a building which takes on all facets of sustainability from the physical construction and assembly to the use and feelof the space. designed by a collaborative effort between italian practice traverso-vighy – for whom the structure is for – and the university of padua’s department of technical physics, the project conforms with new EU standards whereby all public buildings as of 2020 must produce zero carbon is located in the mountains just outside of vicenza’s city center in nothern italy where hot humid summers transition into cold foggy winterswith an ever-changing natural landscape. tvzeb is designed with the principles of deconstruction in mind: only a subtle foundation of two parallel longitudinalreinforced concrete beams are fixed into the ground with 30 mm-diameter bars, while most of the remaining components are CNC-milled or locallyhandcrafted parts assembled on-site.



embedded within the forest landscape



the studio is conceived of as a ‘daylight funnel,’ creating an intrinsic relationship with natural and artificial lights to provide visual comfort, regulateinternal temperatures, and assist in the human perception of space and time throughout the changing seasons and circadian cycles. the entire northern and southern facades are completely glazed; the north allowing panoramic views – the south accepting winter rays for passive heating.the transparent thresholds are inset from the exterior corten envelope shading the interior in the summer keeping it cooler, and are meant to take on an invisible nature to blend the exterior and interior spaces. the interior lighting scheme is made possible due to LED bar lights embedded into the ground plane with adjustable color temperatures that mimic the natural light spectrum, reflecting off of the aluminum-clad interior walls to offset exterior lighting conditions year-round. 





the envelope consists of a timber frame system on the concrete foundation clad in larch boards that are known for their natural weather resistanceand longevity, and are a traditional building material in the region. a double layer of 90 mm polyester fiber  made from around 40,000 recycled plastic bottles.16 photovoltaic panels on the auxiliary structure are able to produce 5.6 kWh of energy which is enough to meet all energy needs in a year.heating is accomplished through a geothermal heat pump, powered by the solar panels, and a natural wood-burning stove fed by garden pruning on site. interior air quality is controlled through underground air exchange distribution channels that also dissipate heat.



timber cladding



southern glazed facade under overhanging eave



timber footpath leading from the parking to the studio






interior main space



reflective aluminum panel interior reflects artificial light



auxiliary structure with solar panel roof





wrap-around window blurs the distinction between interior and exterior





corten cladding assembled by hand with traditional crimping techniques



illumination at night









exterior materials allow the structure to merge into the landscape




frame assembly



timber frame



components are made to be disassembled



construction of wooden walkway



applying insulation to the larch envelope



interior volume



corten cladding




site plan









lighting systems study



changing color temperature to counteract exterior lighting conditions



follows circadian rhythms



sun angles at mid-day



light penetration diagrams







base and frame construction



water collection system



project info:



architects: traverso-vighy, university of padua’s department of technical physics (DFT)traverso-vighy team: arch. giovanni traverso, arch. paola vighy, arch. giulio dalla gassa, arch. elena panzaDFT team: prof. ing. alberto zecchin, prof. ing. michele de carli, dott. ing. valeria de giuli, dott. ing. giuseppe emmi, dott. ing. massimiliano scarpa,dott. ing. giacomo villi, dott. ing. angelo zarrellalighting: coemarinsulation: ORV

  • A beautiful and stunning design

    Guz says:
  • shades of Schindler!

    dbkii says:
  • finally something good in italy, too. bravi! magari ci potrei venire a fare il tirocinio?

    ivan says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news