On the outskirts of a small municipality in the Trentino region, the ecology farm called La Dolce Mela occupies a property in a picturesque valley known for its cultivation of apples; a place which in the course of time has become a popular destination for rural escapades. Completely surrounded by farmland, a house built for those in charge of running an agrotourism business uses the uneven terrain to attach itself to the slope, in this way minimizing its impact on the site, forming a ‘cavity’ that looks out to the landscape on one side. The single-level dwelling is divided into two partially buried volumes that flank an open-air wooden staircase, connecting the entrance level to a green roof.
As for the interior, the perimetral retaining wall fractures and deforms to create a sculptural backdrop onto which daylight shines from little openings cut at certain stretches of the roof, complementing the daylight that streams in through generous, full-height windows and facilitating cross ventilation in the rooms. The use of a formwork made from gnarled logs gives the walls a distinct grained texture that has the effect of balancing out the raw appearance of the exposed concrete, harmonizing with the natural larchwood of the partitions and other finishes. These are enclosures which, together with the compact shape of the cabin and the very fact that the construction is set underground and therefore a beneficiary of the thermal stability that the earth can provide, much contribute to the overall efficiency of the building’s energy performance, in compliance with the sustainability principles of the farm...[+]