Casa Sperimentale – Sketches

The design and building process of the Casa Sperimentale had spanned over nearly a decade. The family started building the concrete mainframe with the idea of creating a treehouse. In 1967 the Perugini’s entered the INARCH FINSIDER competition. The idea was for a prefabricated steel structure suspended of a steel mainframe.

For the Casa Sperimentale, this idea was translated into a concrete superstructure. From the moment this mainframe was realised the process of decision making became much more democratic involving the whole family. Ideas were developed in sketches during the week and then communicated in site to the builder.

All contributions of Uga and Raynaldo were sketched and discussed equally.

Conventional architectural principles were challenged, the floor and the ceiling treated as an independent element not structurally dependent on each other. The idea was to have a horizontal symmetry, mirroring the floor and the structure to create an open space inbetween.

To enhance the hoizontal symmetry a pool underneath the structure mirrored again the underside of the floor creating a further visual echo.

Perugini followed the Seven Principles for Arhcitecture promoted by the APAO and Bruno Zevi. To connect the occupant with the surrounding landscape and the sky above the floor elements were broken up and shiften up/down to allow a visual connection through the gaps to site below and the sky above. The pool underneath the buidling mirrored the sky again enhancing the effect by creating an upside down sky reflected in the water.

Each of the spaces occupied its own concrete floor panel, each of them independent from the adjacent element.

This sketch shows each of the floors being broken up into four independent elements supported by the concrete beam below and suspended off the concrete frame above.

Giusepe envisioned the house as a pure concrete box with only slits leatting in light. After much discussion between himself, Uga and Raynaldo this idea was not followed.

This sketch explored the idea of seperating all the walls, floors and ceilnigs with glass strips echoing Zevis Seven Principles for Architecture.

A further ideas was pursued to introduce circular openings filled with spherical windows.

In the end, the family decided on a modular wall structure made of pre-case hollow elements. This could be lifted into position and then they could decide where to place solid elements and where to leave to window openings.

Sketch exploring ideas of coloured glass elements instead of the cuboid concrete blocks.

Sketch testing ideas of circular and globe-shaped elements used to create the spaces in the main structure of the Casa.

(All sketches are copyright by the Perugini family archive.)

July 12, 2020