Messner by noa* Network of architecture | International Residential Architecture Awards 2020

noa* Network of Architecture: Winner of International Residential Architecture Awards 2020. In the picturesque area of Alpe di Siusi (Bolzano), a barn is reborn as a home. The project, realized by noa* (network of architecture), has at its core, the South Tyrolean tradition combined with surprising features internally, resulting from the design of visionary and unexpected spaces.

Keep tradition in mind, but at the same time move away so as to create an original identity, a new way of living, a different structuring of the domestic space, and to search inspiration from a childhood passed in the mountains. This was the challenge faced by noa* in the project to construct a new home at Siusi in Sciliar, construction to take the place of a deserted house in the centre of the village.

The job needs to be understood in its complex and delicate context. We are talking about South Tyrol, and a project executed at a height of 1100 a.s.l. at the foot of Alpe di Siusi, a part of the Dolomites recognised as a Unesco World Heritage due to its outstanding natural beauty. It was therefore extremely important to respect the parameters of the original structure and the urban planning requirements and regulations of the village. For Stefan Rier, founder, together with Lukas Rungger of the noa* studio, and in this instance ‘his own client’, the project was an opportunity to give a personal footprint to his own property.

The outcome of the project is a dwelling, having two aspects that confront each other in their style. The exterior represents the traditional alpine location, splendidly immersed in the local topography, whilst the interior boasts the visionary impulse, the surprise of a space freed from the general scheme of things, almost permeable, osmotic, and certainly innovative.

On the ground floor, there is a common area which spreads out almost in a ‘piazza’ fashion for (habitational) and interactional use: there is a dining table to enjoy with friends, and ample sized kitchen. The rest of the house develops in a vertical way and instead of the classical room division there are what can be described as ‘hanging boxes’, which are positioned at different heights and interconnected by stairs and walkways – they giving the sensation of walking up a mountain path towards the peak. The hallways are carefully designed so that, apart from their connecting function, they accommodate other essential areas such as the library and open ‘bathroom’ areas with tubs and showers (only the WC are closed in). The entire structure is conceived in a way that the further one goes up the level of privacy and intimacy is heightened. The highest ‘box’ which features a sauna opens out to the splendid view of the Santner mountain.

The revolutionary distribution of the interior spaces can be noted also from the exterior, and a sort of counterpoint is created with the traditional presentation of the exterior itself. To the north, the two boxes of the bedrooms, finished in bronze, can be seen behind the wooden trellis shell, and as a result, the material contrast is evident, while to the south it is sauna box which protrudes the glass facade.

Winner: International Residential Architecture Awards 2020 

Firm: noa* network of architecture
Architects: noa* network of architecture
Category: House Design Built
Project Location: Seis am Schlern-Kastelruth/Siusi allo Sciliar-Castelrotto
Team: Stefan Rier
Country: Italy
Photography ©Credit: Alex Filz

noa* is the essential expression of a collaborative work-ethos: the young team of architects & designers, led by founders Lukas Rungger and Stefan Rier and based in Bolzano (Italy) and since April 2018 also in Berlin (Germany), explores and examines interdisciplinary methods of design, continuously evolving depending on both nature and requirements of each project. By following the concept of “emergence”, where the whole is perceived as being far greater than the sum of its parts, a holistic approach and strategy are central to noa*s way of conceiving design.

IRA 2021