minimalistic Houses by paolo carlesso architetto

This architect built his own home by hand

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
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My trees are still twigs, my sons are still children, my house is not finished yet, there is still a little something to be done, everyday life is magic. Perhaps architecture needs time.Paolo Carlesso Architetto

The design of this Italian home was an opportunity to approach home construction in a radical and anti-cyclical way. The majority of the construction was DIY except for the foundations and load-bearing exterior walls. In fact, the project was even self-done in a financial sense, undertaken without any sort of funding or loans from banks. The architect who worked on this project focused on sustainable building techniques and materials, using methods that require minimal labor – this underlying theme is what has dictated the entire design of this self-built home.

​Rural setting

The desire to embrace the history of the home's specific setting has caused the architect to refuse design elements related to contemporary urban expansion, instead opting for a style and orientation dictated by traditional forms or rural architecture. Although this beige, barn-shaped house lacks a certain sense of splendor, the home's design is rich in meaning: the layout of the site, the economical use of materials, and the important decision to self-construct the home relates directly to the period of recolonization that this area experienced in the mid 1900s. Drawing from eras when families and communities would come together to build their own houses and erect their own barns, this home's slow-going construction was an experience steeped in human history.

​Structure and materials

The walls of the house are made from interlocking timber panels that can be assembled without the use of glues. You can see these panels in the open window which reveals a cut-out section of the internal wooden wall. The house's structure is comprised of a steel frame which is covered on the outside with a well-ventilated shell of ecological fibre cement (an eco-friendly, nontoxic material made from sand, cement, and cellulose fibre).

​Iconic form

There's a good reason why a typical drawing of a house shows a triangular roof on a square base – it's one of the simplest and time-tested designed in house building. The architect sticks with tradition, using a simple rectangular base with a symmetrical shape. Seeking simplicity in design and eliminating unnecessary labor has allowed this builder to break through the limits that are imposed by laws, regulations, financial limitations, and conventional building timelines. As the architect puts it, a core idea of the the project has been to break the absolute immobility of our country, to challenge the status quo.

​Simple, effective designs

This entrance is an excellent example of the way the architect has found the simplest of designs to get the job done. Some homes feature ornate cast-iron railings with molded columns on their front porch, while this practical entry way offers a simple box structure to shelter from rain and wind as the front door is opened.

​Work in progress

The home spent much of its early life in one construction phase or another; here, an unfinished wall and railing provide a sense of the work in progress. Already, you can see the interior shaping up into a light, friendly, and welcoming living space.

​Playful bedroom

It might just be the fun image of a child jumping on the bed, but there's definitely something lighthearted and fun in the design of this bedroom. Against a sunlit backdrop of beige boards, the bedspread and colourful lantern seem to burst with energy, instilling an upbeat, cheerful atmosphere in this beautiful bedroom.

​Simple living

The interior of this rural home is nothing ostentatious; the style hovers between a modern, minimalist style and old-fashioned country decor, somewhat like the modern rustic style that designers and homeowners have become especially fond of in recent years.

Curious about modern rustic style? Explore more homes with this complex decor scheme in this ideabook.

What do you think of this unique, self-constructed house? Comment below!
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