Lugano – The question isn't: What would summer be without sun? The question is: What would summer be without shade? We don't usually think much about this until we're wilted by the heat and slippery with successively melting layers of sunscreen, when we feel beaten by nature instead of part of it.
The design of this private Swiss residence in Tesserete strikes a perfect balance between exposure and shelter. The space was envisioned by project lead and designer Matteo Scudiero, along with the EsseDiEsse showroom, as an outdoor living room that combines comfort and elegance, while blending three types of living areas. Today, built around Corradi's Alba bioclimatic pergola, the combined living, dining and wellness zones offer the family and its guests a refuge for relaxation amongst the wooded hills of Lugano.
Visitors reach this spacious patio by following a walkway laid down in red Cuasso porphyry from the Bonomi quarries. The different living areas were each assigned a different external pavement colour. The spa area, centred around a Jacuzzi whirlpool, was built in light wood, which contrasts with the dark parquet of the living area and the deep green of the surrounding lawn.
Anchoring and uniting the three zones is a refined example of micro-architecture by Italian outdoor solutions brand Corradi. Corradi's pergola is equal parts simplicity and sophistication. Its crisp silhouette suits the spare, well-manicured lines of the architecture and surrounding landscape.
Replacing a previously existing structure to become the focus of the patio, the Alba looks featherweight to the eye. While sheltering, its generous glazing and transparency mean that it doesn't feel or look confining. Instead, a system of sliding glass walls allows the user to feel encompassed while simultaneously feeling as if they are still outdoors, a boon whether the weather without is fair or foul. On the flip side, Alba's minimalism and robust orthogonality gives the structure an air of refinement and solidity, as if the structure had always been rooted there.
One of Alba's virtues is a highly customisable design. Corradi has equipped the bioclimatic pergola with sun-shade blades adjustable up to 150°, which means that the interior is shaded and well-ventilated. When completely closed, the 'roof' cover is rain-resistant and sloughs water off by way of gutters integrated sleekly into the pillars. Soft acrylic fabric curtains and a home automation system, which the user can control via smartphone, were also installed.
The Alba offers a simple-looking, technically sophisticated matrix where outdoors and indoors, nature and architecture can meet and mingle and never wilt.