This project was conceived to fulfill a two-part problematic: (1) Residence Alma–a Tyrolean guest house with 6 holiday apartments from the 1960s adorned with a pitched roof–was due for a common circulation and service core, and (2) the project architect, Ulla Hell, was looking for a new home for her young family of five in the mountain community of Sesto, Alto Adige. The result: an under-utilized roof space gave way to an angular crown, connected to a ground floor reception space and architectural office by the host’s renovated spine.
Having already made their mark on nearby Residence Königswarte with the addition of the Strata Hotel in 2007, Plasma Studio sought to follow a similar skin organization. A timber strip section in larch wood was borrowed from the neighbouring Strata and extruded along two paths. The first stretches across the site, picking up the topography on either end of the building and climbing to enclose a third storey balcony. Here, the edge skirts around the existing footprint, leaving corners exposed to acknowledge its presence.
A second path draws the timber skin up from behind, folding around the chimney to return to the ground. Interstitial spaces between the exterior walls and wooden bands swell at ground level to offer sheltered outdoor living spaces. The design team employed parametric modelling software to optimize the density of these timber strips and their metal substrustructure, balancing budget, aesthetics, privacy and views. This approach allowed for flexibility throughout the design phase and output shop drawings for pre-fabricated elements at an efficient pace.