T house

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project | T HOUSE . 2008
site | Ferrara
client | private
category | residential
area | 37 mq
service | detailed design
design | antonio ravalli
project team | crepaldi.pelliconi
infos | extension of a farmhouse in the countryside of Ferrara
dalla relazione di progetto | ‘I build my own house by myself’ is a quite baffling statement. Be it for untempting images of strain and sweat , or for the uncertainty about where to start in times of reassuring packages of ready-to-use, glossy houses and mortgages as easy to obtain as never before. Or be it for the beginning of a relationship between the architect and the client which passes through such a number of artisans and technicians as sizeable as the final costs. But there’ s a third way, in case of small budgets and incomes but of great personal initiative. T house aims at recovering a direct relationship between the architect and the client, where the construction phase is understood as self-built by the owner, making an exception for the strictly technological elements of the project, as the plants and the structural works. The simple elements the place offers are the presence of a canal with a moderate flood variation. A changeable presence able to generate a natural micro-habitat. Furthermore there are a bamboo hedge and an oak on the north-eastern side, and a scrub of locust trees to the west. What remains is a small, two-storey, brick farmhouse and a lot of cultivated plain. The extension is placed in the space delimited by these elements and is composed by a bang-kiray wood clad volume with a glazed corner on the canal side. The wood, cheap but resistant, allows the customer to assemble it on his own. A drill is an excellent alternative to the plaster for the amateur. The living room is lit by the glass wall on the north-western side and the bathroom is naturally sheltered by the bamboo hedge and oak to the north-east. The self-built cladding turns on the roof terrace and the whole volume is hooked to the existing farmhouse, making an opening on the old outer wall at the ground floor, while adapting a door to reach the terrace at the first floor. The safety glasses renounce to the fixed frame and are pasted with silicone glue to the wooden structure, saving money and hiding the narrow profile of the wooden pillars behind. A little more than a summer of work and strain allowed the owner to discover the delights of a self-made house. (andrea bellodi)

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