There’s a villa overlooking the Swiss Alps that seems to be the cornerstone maintaining the perfect balance between beauty and technology. Ceramics are used as a sophisticated material for roofing and façade cladding, blending effortlessly into the wider surroundings. It creates aesthetic and textural qualities inspired by the geometric, clean lines of the mountains themselves.
Montebar Villa is situated in Canton Ticino and was designed by the architect Jacopo Mascheroni, (JM Architecture) who was awarded First Prize in the Residential Construction category of the 10th edition of the Grand Prix for his efforts. The International Architecture Competition is organised and promoted by Casalgrande Padana.
Mascheroni was honoured for his use of ceramic tiles in creating roofing and façade cladding. The final covering, which brings uniformity to the Montebar Villa silhouette, is made from porcelain stoneware tiles applied to a special ventilated façade system, made from aluminium.
After careful consideration into the appropriate materials and collections for use in the project, JM Architecture selected Amazzonia (in Dragon Black and in the 45×90 cm (18”x36”), 30×90 (12”x36”) and 15×90 (6”x36”) formats) and Pietre Etrusche (in Saturnia and in the 30×60 (12”x24”), 20×60 (8”x24”) and 10×60 (4”x24”) formats) for the outside and inside of the villa respectively.
The Grand Prix panel had high praise for the project:
This is an unusual, experimental approach to ceramic cladding which completely covers all vertical and inclined surfaces, creating a monolithic, single-material, monochrome piece of architecture which blends into its natural surroundings.
AREA magazine also commented on the expert use of ceramics in the project:
The structure and meticulously designed details make full use of the compositional qualities, performance attributes and application potential of next-gen porcelain stoneware.
Several other industry magazines also lavished praise on the project, which shows ceramic tiles in a new light by giving them a role of increased importance within the design. No longer are they just a flooring solution, but also a way of decorating interior walls. This was how Archdaily described the project:
The final cladding material uniforming the shell is a ventilated façade with porcelain stoneware tiles and an invisible fastening system. To complete the energy efficiency of the building, the glass façade of the living area has a curtain wall with thermally broken aluminium horizontal profiles and vertical glass fins, and with insulated selective and low-e glass.
Another invaluable source of information on this project (and on all of the other participants in the 10th edition of the Grand Prix) is undoubtedly the Creative Book, which reads:
This project expertly explores the concept of a home with a pitched roof, as required by building regulations, by adopting a markedly contemporary style. It is an unusual, experimental approach to ceramic cladding which completely covers all vertical and inclined surfaces, creating a monolithic, single-material, monochrome piece of architecture which blends into its natural surroundings. The structure and meticulously designed details make full use of the compositional qualities, performance attributes and application potential of next-gen porcelain stoneware.
The entire Creative Book is available here.
Ceramic tiles become a key element in this Jacopo Mascheroni design
This project is a homage to the mountains, to the primeval beauty of the rocks and the simple lines of the natural surroundings which – up here on top of the mountain – seem to penetrate right to the very core of living, of existing.
Thanks to the use of ceramic tiles for the roof and façade cladding, the building acquires an authoritative, monolithic quality. And more than being mere materials for aesthetic effect, the ceramic tiles become the absolute, unfaltering centre of the project, like the stone whose impeccable appearances the tiles pay tribute to.
If you’d like to discover more about the project, we’d like to invite you to take a look through this gallery. To stay up to date with news and initiatives from Casalgrande Padana, please give us a follow on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.