SV House – A Small House Created from the Ruins of an Existing Building

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Called SV House, this renovation project was created out of the ruins of an existing building. The house is set in Northern Italy, near the Orobic Alps and features sweeping views of the landscape.

The project was undertaken by architect Rocco Borromini, who had the challenge of converting what was essentially two stone walls into a fully fledged house.

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As mentioned above, the site had been left in a serious state of disrepair for an untold period of time. Originally, only the two gable-end walls (the stone walls pictured above) existed. Much work was needed to repair and secure the walls, while also adding reinforced floors and the timber upper levels.

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Once the structure had been addressed they were able to move forward with the new layout. SV House contains 3 levels, each with a floor area of 237-square-feet (22-square-meters), giving it a total area of 711-square-feet (66-square-meters). Large portions of the front facade have been glazed in order to take advantage of the picturesque views.

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On the inside its rustic roots are unrecognizable (although it does feature a stone floor at ground level). Borromini has opted for a contemporary/minimal finish, making use of materials like stone, wood and steel. Each level contains a rather intimate setting, usually serving at least two functions.

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The first floor is taken up by a kitchen, dining area and living room. A lightweight steel and timber staircase provides access to the upper levels. The second floor contains the home’s bathroom, as well as a bedroom. The third and final floor accommodates the master bedroom.

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Some exterior elements have been included in the renovation, including a second storey balcony and a patio at ground level. All in all, SV House is a pretty successful intervention, preserving the history of the site while accommodating new needs.

For more small houses check out KD House, a bright and airy home set among the woodlands of Blasinge, Sweden. Or, El Quinche, a bare concrete cabin from the woods of Ecuador. See all small houses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Rocco Borromini

7 Comments

  1. I have liked all three of the homes I have seen today but still have problem with window openings from ceiling to floor. One problem is privacy and security. Is the window bullet proof or what especially if living near cities? The other problem is privacy again. I do suggest again that 2 or 3 shelf bookcases be across the window which would give some privacy and storage space also.

  2. I do not like the floor to ceiling glass for the dearth of ventilation, but there is probably not much concern about incoming sniper fire in the Italian Alps. The wood ceilings seem as if they would be oppressive. Double plus kudos for locating the bathroom on an altogether different floor than the kitchen as opposed to typical tiny house form factor of having the crapper open on to the food preparation area. The near Juliet-sized balcony seems so small as to be practically worthless. Residential Balconies research paper: http://web.archive.org/web/20090605043853/http://www.sra.wa.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/BE492C1A-14C8-48B6-941F-4437CE0939C8/0/Residentialbalconiespaperfinal25Jan06.pdf

  3. @Mary J, I agree with you on the privacy aspect. But the house in Italy does in fact have roller blinds on the windows in the bedroom, and also in the kitchen zone. I suspect ALL windows would have them, not only for privacy but also for insulation properties.Especially as it is in a mountainous region.

    But bullet proof windows? It’s not in New York city or Chicago. Heck, it ain’t even in the States so I’d guess that issue is magnitudes of order less than what you might think.

    @ Katrina H Nadreau, remember the only things standing were the side walls. I would hazard a guess that prior to laying the stone floor that insulation (probably polystyrene) was laid first to overcome the heat sink-ness of stone on the ground. Insulate stone and it becomes thermal mass to absorb heat from the sun, or from the house’s heat source. In this case that is the wood burning fireplace

  4. I do not like the floor to ceiling glass for the dearth of ventilation, but there is probably not much concern about incoming sniper fire in the Italian Alps. The wood ceilings seem as if they would be oppressive. Double plus kudos for locating the bathroom on an altogether different floor than the kitchen as opposed to typical tiny house form factor of having the crapper open on to the food preparation area. The near Juliet-sized balcony seems so small as to be practically worthless

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