Living in a house in the middle of the forest is a lifelong dream for some people. Can you imagine going home through the woods and enjoying the smell of fresh grass and tree bark? Perhaps these imagines will help picture this situation better.
This Casa nel Bosco, a structure built in Sassari, Italy by Officina29 Architetti. The name of the project translates as “House in the Woods” which is basically very appropriate given the context. The studio developed this project between 2013 and 2014.
Officina29 is a studio established by four professionals with a passion for memorable architecture, a team that knows how to mix technical details and artistic elements in order to make wonderful ideas come to life. For them, every project is a perfect symbiosis between the studio and the clients.
This wonderful house was photographed by Joao Morgado from Architectural Photography. The images capture the true beauty of the house as well as its unique surroundings, making us feel like we’re actually there. It’s almost as if you can smell the freshness.
This House in the Woods is actually an annex that the architects built for an existing home. The two buildings are completely detached and serve as individual structures, each with its own functions and design.
The architects faced a series of challenges. Most importantly, the sloping terrain forced them to design the house as a suspended structure. As you can see, it’s raised above the ground and the vegetation and sits on reinforced concrete pillars. Another big challenge was represented by the trees.
A large number of oak trees were present on the site and both the architects and the clients agreed that they should all the preserved. Not a single tree was cut down during the process. However, this means that the house had to be built between them and that it also had to be a pretty low structure.
The limited height of the building makes it contrast with the tall trees that surround it with their sculptural branches. The trees offer shade and shelter and look as if they’re guarding the structure. Everything had to be built and designed in relation to them.
There are trees piercing through the wooden deck and trees that frame the walkway. You can also see oak trees sitting very close to the windows, as if they\re curious to see what’s inside. Overall, the architects managed to achieve harmony between the building the landscape.
The new annex has a simple design and an octagonal form. Its shape and design were dictated by the conditions on the site and the positioning of the trees. At the same time, the site imposed a design that blurs the boundaries between the interior spaces and the outside worlds. As a result, the annex was built with large openings that allows light to enter the interior spaces and the views to become a part of the interior décor.
A wooden walkway was built between the annex and the existing house. It runs through the trees forming steps that follow the slope. Lighting pillars were placed on either side of the walkway, illuminating it at night.
The outdoor lights also highlight the silhouettes of the trees, emphasizing their textured bodies and their organic beauty.
The interior of the structure is composed of a flexible space which can either be used as a game room or a living space, a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom. The main volume is not particularly spacious.
A pool table occupies most of the floor space. The remaining space is filled with a modern wall unit and a pair of comfortable chairs in the corner from where the views can be fully admired.
The interior décor is kept simple and neutral. This way its versatility is emphasized and, at the same time, it becomes apparent that the surroundings and the views play an important in the ambiance and décor created here.
The limited height of the building also meant that most of the furniture had to be custom made to fit the space. The wall is a perfect example. It looks as a natural part of the wall, fitting into the space like no other design would be able to.
From the living space, a glass door offers access to a wooden deck. The deck continues down the slope and takes the form of the walkway we just mentioned. This sort of continuity offers the house a unique relationship with its surroundings.
The client wanted a deck but also wanted to preserve all the trees present on the site. As a result, some of the trees pierce trough the deck and become a part of its design. The deck was actually carefully built around them, once again showing the great respect for nature featured by both the clients and the architects.
The kitchen is quite small but not at all tiny. A set of windows the upper part of one of the walls, only leaving room for lower cabinetry. The other wall is covered with custom-designed furniture. The beautiful natural wood finish contrasts with the white walls, ceiling, floor and counter, offering the room a warm and inviting look.
This beautiful simplicity is also present in the other rooms. The bathroom is small but fresh. It’s just big enough to accommodate a sculptural vanity, a toilet and a shower. A large wall mirror adds depth and created the impression of a larger space.
The shower is divided from the rest of the bathroom by a clear glass partition. This ensures a uniform look throughout and doesn’t divide the room into tiny sections but rather keeps it open.
Everything mentioned so far and everything related to the project proves that this annex is a wonderful place for enjoying the tranquility of the oak forest and a perfect place for reflection. Whether spending time inside or outdoors, on the deck or down on the stone platform, the ambiance is always relaxing and fulfilling. The beauty of the surrounded landscape can be enjoyed from every part of the house.