It’s hard to rival the position of a house on the hill. Even more so, when it overlooks the undulating mountain region of Northern Italy. Bordering the small village of Truden, Architect Daniel Ellecosta designed House in Hormannweg with the locals in mind, thoughtful to its neighbours and unobstructive to its shared sight lines. For this quaint and minimalist farmhouse, it’s about fitting in with the old from the outside and creating a home on the inside through one continuous vernacular; for an overall timelessness ensured.
Architect Daniel Ellecosta thought long and hard about creating a brand new abode that remained consistent with the local building traditions. Propped on the hillside, the exterior reflects the architect’s considerations; choosing materials that synthesise with its surrounds. The structure is clad in a light grey plaster overhung by a peaked roof. All angles point towards the valley below with all openings positioned accordingly. The geometry is simple – large square windows are cut from each side and a glass door that marks the entry; all with warm timber trimmings.
Forget Northern Italy; the home instantly conjures up Nordic images, echoing design choices of a home set high in the Norwegian woods. From the outset, the consistency of materials creates a calming effect that follows you inside. It’s a colour match of epic proportions, where each fixture, fitting and surface affirms the theme set by the exterior. One glimpse of the fireplace and we instantly think of the Danish word ‘hygge’; a concept of cosiness and contentment that would have us hiding away here for the European winter. Local larch wood features abundantly in every space, informing the cabinetry, flooring, custom-made furniture and timber panels that segment the upstairs from downstairs. Matching the exterior palette, the wall’s subtle texture is drawn from smooth plaster surfaces of clay and lime with sand aggregate, on a polished concrete floor. By using high quality materials from the regional area, Ellecosta has a strengthened conversation with existing buildings and the mountainous landscape. Reducing all elements inside to the bare essentials, nothing distracts you as you look out onto the Alpine region – making it very easy to remove yourself from the unnatural.
We’ve seen Montreal and Whistler rival rural Danish design concepts and now, the small village of Truden in Northern Italy has made its mark, with the work of Daniel Ellecosta. Ellecosta has designed with clarity and simplicity a house that makes a bolder statement in subtlety than in showiness.