Observatory houses

architecture, competitions


Roccascglena, Italy




Architecture is all about geometry and light. The light is about perceiving the form and the darkness is because of the absence of light. Thus, the new intervention itself is a clear strong gesture that complements and amplifies the impressive landscape. The new white stripe is set apart from the fortress, so it is evident that they are from different periods of time. The stripe that meanders and adapts to the ground becomes dramatic as the terrain itself. It imitates the way of building of the old fortress. Each wall follows the natural shape of the rock, forming different platforms with a beautiful view. The linear gesture starts at the edge of the old town and ends with a tower that interprets the old tower which collapsed in 1940. An inner street connects the programs with the entrance of the building. At some points, the street opens to the outside and leads to the external extensions such as observatory swimming pool, observatory amphitheater, and various platforms for observing the landscape or camping. Curiosity for exploring and the feeling of mystery are awakened with the play of light and shadows. The promenade culminates in a tower which contains a water collector with an observation telescope at the top. The collector is connected to the fortress with a folding bridge. The houses are places of solitude and daydreaming, representing observatories in their own way. They are archaic shelters with carefully selected openings so that visitors can peek into the landscape or observe the starry sky. Their program is minimal in order to focus on their main goal, the chance to watch the sky in an extremely intimate atmosphere.