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Silent architecture turns this Italian eco home into a green haven

Full of succulents and energy-saving innovations, it is inspired by Le Corbusier’s idea of home as a machine for living

indoor pool currounded by towering cacti and stringa chairs by gae aulenti for poltronova
Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside

Looking out towards the placid waters of Lake Alserio and the imposing profile of Monte Resegone, it’s obvious to see why this home was configured specially to drink in the view.

To Roberta Traviglia, her husband Christian, their two children – Jacopo, 11, and Virginia, 14 – as well as poodle Hulk and cat Scottex, the Lombardy landscape is like a seventh housemate. ‘The view lives with us,’ says Roberta, ‘so much so that we sometimes feel like we are spending our days on the shore of the lake.’

living room dominated by towering succulents and a bristol corner sofa by poliform
Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside

That feeling of unity with the horizon is largely thanks to the design created by architect Annalisa Mauri, who envisioned a property comprised of three blocks arranged to mimic the area’s topography. These structures are linked by ‘ribbons’; connecting walkways that blur the idea of inside and outside.

‘The view lives with us. We sometimes feel like we are spending our days on the shore of the lake’

Despite its size, this is a discreet abode, making minimal impact on its surroundings, but ensuring maximum enjoyment of them – a concept Annalisa refers to as ‘silent architecture’.

As well as limiting the villa’s visual footprint, Annalisa was also concerned for its ecological one. To that end, she’s made use of geothermal energy, solar panels, the latest generation of Tesla storage batteries, and automated cooling, heating and dehumidification systems.

tropical lounge beside the pool in this italian eco home
Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside

She was inspired by Le Corbusier’s definition of the home as a ‘machine à habiter’, updating the idea so that this machine for living makes use of the latest environmental technology.

Green in every way possible, the house is also alive with plants. The towering cacti, able to cope with the bright Italian sunshine that streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, not only add a natural element but, says Roberta, ‘contribute to the relaxing feel’.

exterior of eco home in italy by architect annalisa mauri
Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside

They are combined with a thoughtful edit of furniture, which includes vintage gems, such as an ‘LC4’ chaise longue by Le Corbusier for Cassina and a ‘Stringa’ sofa and chairs by Gae Aulenti for Poltronova. Then, at the centre of it all, there’s the custom-designed chandelier by Venicem that appears like jewellery decorating the staircase.

Follow its path down to the ground floor and you find this house’s hidden treasure: an indoor pool with jets that mimic swimming upstream, as well as a Turkish bath. Combine that with an enviable outdoor pool and an expansive sun terrace on the roof and you have a home that offers it all – glamour and green credentials. annalisamauri.it

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration July 2020

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