A Sun Worshipper’s Dream Retreat
Most homes are built with a mind to how natural light will affect the interior and the residents living there, but none are more mindful of changing natural light patterns than the Sun Slice House on Lake Garda in Italy.
Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the Sun Slice House was built for the head of an Italian lighting company owner. While the owner deals with artificial light in his professional life, this summer house revolves around the lovely natural light over the lake.
The home itself frames the light using geometric cutouts and strategic positioning of the elevations. The light touching the home evolves throughout the day and throughout the year, creating unique experiences each time the sun rises.
The majority of the home is composed of simple rectangles with those unique light-inviting cutouts, but the north side features glass walls with grand views of the beautiful lake.
A majestic patina has overtaken the exterior of the modern vacation home which is clad in an alloy of copper, steel, chromium and nickel. The rich red color lends the structure a natural feel, letting it seem like an organic part of the landscape.
“This weekend house on Lake Garda for an Italian lighting company owner and his family is organized to frame slices of sunlight,” says the architect of the project. “While the owner’s profession revolves around artificial light, slices of natural light and their change in space throughout the day and year is the focus of the house.”
“While most elevations are simple rectangles strategically sliced and cut for the play of light within, the north façade is made of glass with views of Lake Garda. In order to emphasize the bends and changes in the strips of sunlight, simple cubic volumes form the basic building geometry. These are loosely joined in topological sheet rubber-like geometry, which also inscribes wind-protected courts on both sides of the house. Changes of season and weather allow different courtyard opportunities. “
“The steel frame and concrete structure is skinned with an alloy of copper, steel, chromium, and nickel, which weathers to a leathery red color. Interiors are white plaster with terrazzo floors on the ground level while bamboo floors cover the second. Natural ventilation and geothermal heating and cooling are part of the energy plan.”