Marcelo Rossi

Delle Chiaie House - Maremma, Italy - 2008

Project: HOUSE Delle Chiaie

City: Maremma - Toscana - ITALY
Year: 2008
Professional services / Tipo: Definitive - Executive project
Dimensions: 300 sqm



The Olive

Nothing could exist in this territory of 7 hectares in Toscana - Maremma if it was not for the decision to plant 5 hectares of olive tree. This decision was the cause for the owners of the land to become farmers and then have, according to the laws, the right to build a house and annexed buildings in a certain number of square metres to develop the activity. So, if planting olive trees gives the possibility of building, the olive tree grove is the reason why the house exists. Therefore, the star element of this story is the olive tree, the olive tree grove.

The plant/tree is, like every plant or tree, constituted by an outer part (over the ground) and an inner part (inside the ground). The outside is in contact with the light, the air and the sun while the inside is in contact with the shade and depth of the land. Its existence answers, as every tree, to these two elements - the outside and the inside. Between them, there is a line which divides the land from the air. In terms of perspective and distance, this line is the “horizon line”, which divides and joins at the same time. It joins and gives the plant the possibility of a dialogue; a dialogue between the outside and the inside. This is the reason why the plant lives.
"What the tree has buried feed the flowers that adorn it.”



The top of the olive tree sticks to its root through the trunk. The trunk of the olive tree is the one in charge of carrying reciprocally the flows which move to and from the tree through its sap.
The leaves, together with their photosynthesis, send the signal to the root so that the root sends, in turn, the raw material necessary for the feeding and growing of the tree.
The trunk is a structural system that joins. Its vital importance is that as a unitary system penetrates the ground through the horizon line, transforming itself in root. This is the part of the olive tree that we are interested in studying in this project.
The project talks to this imaginary horizontal line or plane. A horizontal section of the trunk of the olive tree is the answer to our project.image018image019

The creation of our project will be based on the signs of the trunk. It will have a discontinuous centralized floor, just like the olive tree trunk. Its centre hollows out and sets free creating an open space like a cloister, being a cosy and protected space at the same time. The beauty of the surrounding landscape can be observed in a radial manner through windows from the inside courtyard


Said central space is delimited on its high side by the mountain itself and on the sides and lower part by the construction of the house. The house will adjust itself to the land. It will penetrate the ground and will merge into it. The house will go unnoticed in the landscape and will be according to the context of the territory. The various species of plants will continue growing over the house creating a continuation of the field.
Only three materials will be used for its construction: stone, wood and glass. The stone will be extracted from the surrounding area and it will constitute the solid part of the wall. Another element is the larch, a type of timber which gradually changes its colour to a pearl grey tinge over the time. This pearl grey tries to represent the colours of an olive tree leaf, which with the blowing of the wind shows a dark green colour on one side and a pearl grey on the other. When a gust of wind blows, silver reflections come out from its leaves.
As a symbol, an ancient olive tree will be planted in the centre of the courtyard/cloister.


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