Nocturnal Animals

This project consists of a collection of structures connected by a path and is a coexistence of heritage and contemporary architecture. Not wanting to disturb the silhouette of the fortress on top of the cliff - a powerful image - this intervention is located on the lower portion of the mountainside. Across the various housing types, this scheme allows for a diverse way of interacting with both landscape and sky. The houses and villa are linear, single story structures that extend out below the tree walk. Operable skylights allow for observing the night sky within the comfort and privacy of each dwelling. The three apartments are composed inside a tower, echoing the towers of the nearby fortress. A spiral stair wraps around the tower, with landings for outdoor observation and a private roof deck. Where the tower extends up to the sky, the five cabins are embedded into the ground, a meditative chamber with a glass roof up to the sky.

The tree walk, set at the intermediary level between the two main fortress structures, provides both access to the new observatory houses and a unique public space to view the surrounding landscape and night sky. At the southwest corner is the sky lounge, strategically positioned at the juncture of the two existing paths and serving as a welcome center and entry point to the new facilities and old fortress. In contrast to the heavy materiality of the stone fortress, the houses are made of timber and glass, maximizing views toward the starry night.

Location: Roccascalegna, Italy
Program: Observatory Houses
Year: 2017
Status: Competition, Finalist Mention
Team: Evelyn Ting, Paul Tse