Dante House | Reggio Calabria
  • Dante House | Italy

Dante House | Italy

Glass, raw iron and local olive wood

In the residential area of Varapodio, in an ‘unfinished’ urban context, stands a plot planted with citrus trees and centuries old olive trees, in perfect harmony with the surrounding architecture. Space flooded with light develops in pure, overlapping volumes with at its heart a void thrusting down through every storey. A project by  Architects Francesco Fedele and Mariangela Figliomeni.

There is a uniquely warm atmosphere, given by the materials used: glass, raw iron and olive wood. The external envelope is a jigsaw of volumes, subtractions and inclusions, highlighted by different colours and materials, which penetrate into the internal space, exalting perception of the spacious living room that develops on different levels. The area is flooded with light through the large window that opens onto the private garden. The main part comprises a deep void that cuts through the height of the building and descends below ground level to create a sort of tank from which to enjoy all the architectural and design details that enhance the residence. The spacious living room at the entrance is delineated by two large black walls that extend outside to define the main entrance behind it. The focal point is a lowered central part that houses a relaxation area with long sofas (FREEMOOD by désirée divani), a fireplace and a large, 4-metre area overlooking the garden.

The same part of the building has an area placed on a higher level than the entrance, which includes the living quarters from which access is gained to the cloakroom, bathroom and kitchen, designed as a single environment.

The large living room is also a part of it, but it can be separated by a full-height sliding glass door. The kitchen is divided into two areas: the dining area, which overlooks the outside verandah through a large sliding glass door, with the same flooring extending into the garden so that it becomes a single internal/external space, and the working kitchen block. A large black cube has been excavated to provide passage around the island, an uncluttered element that contains all the operational parts, from the extractor hood to the encased illumination.

Olive wood is the material that stands out in the main rooms. A typical local tree, not used much due to its marked grain and ‘bright’ colours, its wood brings a unique touch to the building and the elements using it, particularly because it is ‘hand crafted’. Olive wood is used for the internal staircase, a double height focal point in the living quarters, featuring overhanging box steps and a glass parapet on the second ramp.