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ARCHITECTURE T2 House / Ferrara, Italy

Guidi used the excess lumber remaining from the homes shell to construct his own furniture the bed, for one, was made with same wood found in the beams. Cross ventilation is naturally built in to the home and undergirded by its orientation on the lot. Many design aspects were determined by the presence of the trees on the site and their position. The dialogue of the building with the landscape, the relation between the inner space and the exterior, are a consequence of all these choices guided by sustainability concepts. One of the most evident effects is that each window faces a different tree of the garden, with a different colour and a different blossom period. The house is positioned between the trees so that they can proportion shadow in summer and create a greenhouse effect in winter, Ravalli says. Ceiling heights escalate from 2.5 to 4.2 metres, which Ravalli designed for the dual purposes of storage and ventilation the bedroom and studio doors can remain open at the higher part, thereby permitting air to circulate freely throughout the whole house. The T2 house might just exemplify what Jos Gmez and Susan Rogers wrote in their essay An Architecture of Change, found in the book Expanding Architecture. In this, they say design does not have to be compromised in the process of serving the needs of others. The house introduced a giving and receiving relationship between thinking and doing the project, since it was not only the designing approach that affected the way of materially building it, but, in reverse, it was also the way of gradually realising it that influenced the subsequent steps in the design process, says Ravalli. What we are trying to do is to produce a sensitive architecture, in which this involves the five senses. The direction of the light at the sunset and its vibration through the leaves, the different colours of the seasons, the sensation of the heat produced by the fireplace, are all fundamental elements. This approach comes from our personal aptitude, but we think the present day culture is paying more and more attention about this kind of thing, and to a lively relationship with the environment.

Teach a man to fish


In learning to build his own home, Antonio Ravalli developed an awareness of sensitive architecture
text : nichole l reber photography : courtesy of ravalli architetti

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ilippo Guidis T2 house in Ferrara, Italy, tells a story about expanding architecture for the good of society. Not only did Guidi accomplish a rectangular space-conscious two-bedroom residence, he learned to build the house for himself with the help of his friend Antonio Ravalli, founder of Antonio Ravalli Architetti. Ravalli, through his architecture, interiors, and urban design firm, helped Guidi with his cabin design. The incarnation of sustainability is a hybrid of Modernist inspiration and rustic masculinity. Material selection required a thoughtful process based on multiple challenges. Site orientation demanded carefully

planning. Ventilation was a labour of classic architecture practices. In the end, however, Ravalli not only helped his friend achieve a gorgeous abode, he metaphorically taught a man to fish. Locally available materials such as laminated timber beams and copper shingles add aesthetic value to the rural residence and help Guidi to achieve energy and economic efficiency. The intrinsically irregular qualities of the shingles make a shocking impression upon first glance in this rural area, yet upon second glance they actually help the house to blend in with its neighbors because of their very rustication. It was also very important that the materials

were easy to assemble, because the house was to be built by the client himself, who didnt possess previous experience about construction, says Ravalli. Not only was his friend the client, Guidi also wore the hats of bricklayer and builder, exemplary of the growing trend toward placing more social value in architecture, permeating its value beyond the bourgeois. In times in which houses are becoming more and more sophisticated, and in which theres the need to call somebody to solve even the smallest technical problem, the almost total knowledge of Filippo about his own home, having built it, is something which recalls ancient ways and times, says Ravalli.
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ARCHITECTURE T2 House / Ferrara, Italy

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