This summer we are in the process of submitting our design for a Passive House near the ruins of the Canossa castle to the landscape heritage committee at the town council. Even though our project is relatively small, we believe that it can contribute to a much larger discussion about the future of Italian architecture and the possibilities that are now available through advanced building techniques. Specifically, we are interested in the idea of using green roofs in landscape heritage areas to reinforce the remaining historic structures, while returning all newly developed surface area into natural vegetation and effectively hiding the new building in the landscape. The concept of using a green roof as an extension of the natural landscape is one that is quite new here in Italy. However, there have been a few projects that have recently come to my attention that are worth mentioning.
The first is the recently completed and highly publicized Cantina Antinori (Antinori Winery), located outside of Florence. As we are now seeing with our own small wine cellar project (Cinque Campi), the temperature stabilization effect of building into the earth is perfect for the needs of a wine producer.
The second project is yet another winery, Cantina Mori della Zugna, located in the province of Trentino. While the photo is a rendering, I believe this project is also recently completed.
The third is the winning design for the new soccer stadium in Siena, designed by our neighbors Iotti + Pavaranni. Again, by building into the hillside, they are able to create a beautiful and subtle design that is very well integrated with the surrounding countryside.