Architecture

Sustainability and style: exploring Casa VCS in Modica

Casa VCS - Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio, Modica, Italy

The architectural studio, Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio, based in Ragusa, has recently completed the design of a family home in the Italian city of Modica. Casa VCS, situated on the rocky landscape that characterizes Modica, is a testament to the significance of the relationship between architecture and the environment. Rather than detracting from the desert-like atmosphere of the city, Casa VCS seamlessly integrates with the terrain.
According to Giuseppe Gurrieri Studio, the project places great emphasis on the analysis of the site and draws inspiration from the numerous rural architectures typical of the 1930s found in the area. These structures, constructed with raw materials and precarious designs, were originally intended to expand the buildings associated with local agricultural activities.


The house features a sheet metal roof, which imbues it with a warehouse-like appearance, while also creating an open and expansive space. The use of reinforced concrete in the retaining wall not only complements the metal roof but also echoes the sun-baked texture of the Modica environment.
The studio further explains that lightness and transparency were the guiding principles of the project. By utilizing a retaining wall made of reinforced concrete, the spire formed by the gentle slope and the escarpment is accentuated, creating the illusion that the house is floating on the canyon.


The suspended house id supported by twelve steel pillars that elevate it to the same level as the peak of the rocky landscape, giving an impression of lightness. Despite the inherent heaviness of steel and concrete, the elevated position of the house enables these materials to coexist harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, paying homage to the city’s character.
Inside the home boasts an open living, kitchen, and dining room area, with a warm timber block acting as a compact storage unit between the dining and living spaces. Two spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms, offer ample space for rest, work, and enjoyment of the stunning, pristine scenery that envelops Casa VCS.
Large thermal windows at the front and back of the house provide breathtaking views for the family as they go about their daily lives. The expansive balcony at the back of the house not only offers shade but also contributes to the solar energy utilization of the residence.


According to the studio, the attention and respect for the environment extend beyond the mere form of the building. The planning measures implemented in the design ensure the sustainability of this architecture. The building’s orientation exposes the longer sides to the north and south, optimizing solar contributions during both summer and winter. The careful study of openings, shaded areas, insulation, and the use of high-performance windows enable effective control of incoming and outgoing solar radiation.
If one were to pass by Casa VCS, their initial impression would likely focus more on its ability to blend seamlessly with the Modica environment than on the house itself. The rocky texture and earthy color palette of the landscape are artfully reflected in the design of the house, creating a harmonious integration with its surroundings.

Source
Giuseppe Gurrieri

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