HE House

GAMBAROGNO, SWITZERLAND - 2019

NCB has to deal with the restoration and the restyling of a villa in front of the lake, placed in Gambarogno, in the area of Locarno, in the Italian canton of Switzerland.


A couple of Swiss-German owners, passionate connoisseurs of Italian design and aestheticism, decided for a total redefinition of interiors creating new bright and fluent spaces, perfect for weekends and holidays also with friends. An important point was the preservation of the special Mediterranean allure, which already characterized the ancient building, working on some formal and chromatic details improvement and also on the redefinition of garden and outdoor spaces, with the purpose of establishing a stronger relationship with the surrounding landscape.

Logistic and structural aspects of the villa brought to a very deep and cautious analysis and studying of the general project, giving birth to a final solution able to generate harmony between functional needs and pure aesthetic, simple and sophisticated ate the same time.

Cornerstone of the entire project is the vertical connective element of the amazing helicoidal staircase, a sculpture that twist and turn through different floors and produce a strong relationship in space and in function between interiors and the outside landscape, a kaleidoscopic emotional tool to move inside looking to the outdoor, a persistent dialogue between manufactured and natural. The sinuous and shimmering shape of the spiral, which took inspiration from the vineyard shoots in the garden terrace, is strengthened thanks to floors, steps and railings material continuity, all realized with different mixture resins matched according to neutral tones of white lime; everything carefully developed in order to mitigate the cold lighting reverberations coming from the lake.

Arriving from the street level of the main entrance are located an hall, an office and a bedroom with private bathroom; going down at the middle floor there is a central gallery which identify two master bedrooms and a balcony overlooking the garden; the staircase drift down to the ground floor coming out in the open space of dining and kitchen, developed in front of the peculiar arched windows which characterized the lake view facade. Also the kitchen has a direct connection with a covered porch above which there is a tower volume where a master bedroom is set.

The materialboard is minimal: resin has been combined with a few unique woods and stones, matched with great sobriety in order to keep the focus on the beautiful landscape and the vibrant lighting which come in the interior volumes. Doors merge with walls and furnitures, all designed ad hoc, trying to comply their function establishing a geometric, chromatic and textural counterbalance to the rarefied atmosphere of spaces.

Carefully selected accessories, upholstery, decorative lighting and elements, represent another level of NCB restoration, based on the deep dialogue between some of the most iconic symbols of made in Italy and the Genius Loci; a graceful comparison looking for an harmonic equilibrium - even seasonal- with garden and lake colours.

NCB designed and oversaw also the garden and terrace restyling, remodelling lines and profiles of gneiss pavement next to the dock and planning the addition of new tree species to the oldest. Close to the boathouse on the lake, a well-equipped square has been thought with the idea of arranging dinners and events: a kind of outdoor room sheltered by a semicircular dry-stone wall which embrace a fig tree, symbol of life, knowledge and wealth. A real hope for those who in this place will try to find peace and balance both with themselves and their surroundings.