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In collaboration with ComunicArch

G Studio

Rationalist Villa for Olivetti. Balancing, preservation and innovation

City / State: Ivrea / Italy

The restoration and energy retrofit of Villa Rossi in Ivrea, conducted by the Torinese architectural firm G Studio, represent an exceptional example of how it’s possible to preserve and rejuvenate a UNESCO listed 20th-century building while maintaining its authenticity

 

Located in the heart of Ivrea, the modern industrial city founded by Adriano Olivetti, Villa Rossi is included within the core zone of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Ivrea, Industrial City of the 20th Century.” Architect Enrico Giacopelli from G Studio was tasked with leading the restoration project. The primary challenge was to introduce cutting-edge solutions to improve the building’s energy efficiency without compromising its original aesthetics

 

The villa is part of a group of four villas commissioned in 1959 by senior executives of Olivetti to the Office of Employee Housing Consultation (Uccd), under the guidance of Emilio Aventino Tarpino, and it fully embodies the new architectural language of the Office with flat roofs, loggias, sunshades, and cladding in various-sized and -toned sandstone. This style aligns with the evolution introduced by Eduardo Vittoria in Ivrea, featuring buildings with vibrant colored sandstone surfaces, in contrast to the more purist previous industrial architecture

 

Located on the Banchette hills, at the entrance to the rationalist sequence of works along Via Jervis, facing the park designed by Pietro Porcinai for the Olivetti Office Building, the villa cleverly utilizes the complex topography of the land to determine the arrangement of volumes. It is spread across two levels, with the upper floor dedicated to living spaces and the lower floor reserved for services, including a game room and a garage. The load-bearing structure consists of central pillars and reinforced concrete perimeter walls, seemingly irregularly arranged but functionally rational

 

The fronts of the first floor and the ground floor of the west head are covered with sandstone blocks of different sizes and tones. The south and west facades are adorned with four pearly white glazed terracotta sunshades, adding an elegant touch to the living room loggia. A significant element is the property’s boundary wall, approximately 65 meters long, featuring a bas-relief inspired by the famous Olivetti logo, the Greek spiral designed by Marcello Nizzoli in 1954. The windows adopt the “Wagner system,” an avant-garde technology introduced in the early 20th century, characterized by two hinged frames and 3mm single glass to create an interstitial space for improved thermal and acoustic insulation

 

In 2020, after serving as the client’s family residence for over fifty years, Villa Rossi was entrusted to G Studio for a project to adapt it to contemporary needs. The project primarily focused on the conservative restoration of the facades, sunshades, metal components, and the boundary wall. The sandstone facades were restored, and damaged glazed terracotta elements were replaced with fortuitously sourced pieces

 

The interior of the villa underwent limited changes, with a focus on rationalizing the spaces to meet contemporary requirements. The most significant changes involved the flooring, with the replacement of asbestos-containing ceramic and linoleum coverings with acacia parquet floors. The original custom furnishings were preserved and restored, contributing to the building’s authentic character

 

However, the most significant challenge of the project was energy improvement. The goal was to bring the building to Class B energy efficiency, while respecting the architectural characteristics as much as possible and minimizing the visual impact of the interventions. Insulation was enhanced with cork in the exterior walls and correction of thermal bridges. The original windows were restored and equipped with new low-emissivity glass. The roof was revised to improve comfort, featuring a new stratigraphy, PCM panels, and optimized air circulation

 

In summary, Villa Rossi in Ivrea represents a balanced harmony between preserving historical features and innovating in energy efficiency, demonstrating that the past and the future can coexist harmoniously within a single building. This project is a successful model in the field of restoration and sustainable adaptation of 20th-century buildings, with significant implications for architectural heritage preservation

 

Architect Enrico Giacopelli’s work on Villa Rossi is a successful example of conserving, enhancing, and managing 20th-century architectural heritage. This approach not only adheres to UNESCO guidelines but promotes an active preservation strategy that involves the client and encourages awareness and responsibility in the conservation and restoration process

 

Talking About Enrico Giacopelli

Member and legal representative of G-Studio. Degree in architecture (1984), specialized diploma in “Architecture and Urban Planning for Developing Countries” (1992), university cooperation missions in Congo Brazzaville; expert in Urban Planning (1992-1996), CNR scholarship recipient (1994-1996), adjunct professor of Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Turin (2007-2017), coordinator and instructor of the “International Summer School of Ivrea” at the Polytechnic University of Milan (2008 – 2011), national councilor of Do.Co.Mo.Mo Italy (2012 – 2014), coordinator of the Focus Group “Conservation Recovery Restoration” of the Order of Architects of the Province of Turin (2017 – 2022). Since 1995, he has developed his professional activity around the theme of knowledge, safeguarding, and enhancement of the modern architectural heritage of Ivrea through restoration and recovery projects, scientific research, publications, conferences, consultations, and cultural animation activities. Among the outcomes of this action: the cataloging of the modern architectural heritage of Ivrea / drafting of the Safeguard Regulations for Modern Architecture of Ivrea / consultancy for the 2000 PRG of Ivrea on the theme of modern architecture / design of MaAM / consultancy for the restoration of the Canton Vesco Quarter (arch. A. Fiocchi & M. Nizzoli) / restoration of the ICO Workshops (arch. L. Figini and G. Pollini) / consultancy for the conservation of the La Serra Congress Center (arch. I. Cappai and G. Mainardis) / restoration of Villa Rossi (arch. E.A. Tarpino) / adaptation and restoration project for the middle school in Vico Canavese (arch. N. Renacco) / restoration project for three buildings in the Scarmagno plant (arch. E. Vittoria & M. Zanuso). Some of these works have also attracted interest from the Italian and international scientific community: the restoration of the ICO Workshops was awarded the Honorable Mention “Gold Medal for Italian Architecture” at the 2009 Milan Triennale, the “In-Arch Prize” for restoration, and the “Metra Prize.”

 

Building Summary:

Client: Private

Location: Banchette, Ivrea

Villa Rossi has been included in the List of World Heritage Buildings of the UNESCO Site ‘Ivrea, Industrial

City of the 20th Century’ since 2018

Original Energy Class: Not Classified

Energy Class after Restoration: B

Project and Execution: 2020-2023

Project and Site Management: G Studio (Enrico Giacopelli with Cristina De Paoli) – Turin

Energy Analysis: Stefano Fantucci – Polytechnic University of Turin

Plant Engineering: FAPA Engineering – Turin

Structural Calculations and Safety: Eng. Gianfranco Angera – Ivrea, Italy

Construction and Restoration Works: F.lli Perino Company – Ivrea, Italy

Light Carpentry Works: Rolla Company – Albiano di Ivrea, Italy

Acacia Parquet: Tolin Parquets – Torre San Giorgio, Italy

Window Restoration and Carpentry Works: Bertoldo Carpentry – Vidracco, Italy

Special Insulation Products: Infinite R™ PCM, E4e – Arvier, Aosta  Italy

Aerogel: AMA Aeropan

Cork Products and Blowing Insulation (Supplier): Centro dell’Isolamento – Villarbasse, Italy

Cork: Tecnosugheri Korkpan and Korkgran tostato

Pyrolytic Glass: AGC Flat Glass Italia S.r.l. – Cuneo, Italy

Ceramic and Sanitary Products (Supplier): Habitat + – Turin, Italy

Ceramic Products: Florim, Ceramica De Maio

Sandstone Sunshades: CEIPO – Chiusi, Italy”

                          

Site Area: 2,065.5 sqm

Covered Area: 283 sqm

Gross Usable Area on the underground Floor: 194 sqm

Gross Usable Area on the Ground Floor: 113 sqm

 

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Press Kit no.: 202457
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Exterior

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,5MB

Exterior

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 3,9MB

Exterior

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,4MB

Exterior

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 5,4MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,2MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,3MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 1,5MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Paolo Mazzo

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Paolo Mazzo

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 4,3MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,1MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 3,4MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,8MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 2,6MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3220 300dpi 3,9MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 3,3MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 4,7MB

Exterior

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 4,4MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 3397x4000 300dpi 1,8MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 3,5MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3000 300dpi 2,1MB

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Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

Size: HR 4000x3200 300dpi 1,8MB

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Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Fabio Oggero

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All Photos Before Restoration | Download

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: Paolo Mozzo

Size: All Photos Before Restoration | Download

All Drawings | Download

Villa Rossi

Designer: G-Studio

Photo Credits: G-Studio

Size: All Drawings | Download