location: Canobbio, Switzerland
built-up area: 2047 sqm
date: 2019 – 2022

design architect: Mino Caggiula
project architect: Thomas Giuliani
executive architect: Fabio Fiore
team: Diego Compagno, Andrea de Vittori, Pier Luca Carubia, Alberto Cuneo, Luca Zingaro

Blade is a project in which the intervention in space stimulates a close dialogue between construction and landscape, integrating precise material choices with the nature of the site.
The inspiration for this high-standing residential complex located in Canobbio, Switzerland, starts from the art world, specifically from the experience lived inside Richard Serra’s sculptures.
The American artist’s works constructed from sheets of metal establish multiple interactions with the space and those who pass through them, intervening as a physical and material presence on the very perception of their surroundings.
Translating the conceptual dimension of art into the built project was the challenge of the intervention.
On a steep terrain between the vegetation and the lake, the research starts from the idea of leaving a mark on the territory in a thoughtful and integrated way, capable of generating a harmonious connection with the surrounding space and landscape.
The operation was to scratch the hilly terrain through the insertion of curved corten steel blades positioned in such a way as to prospectively override the view of the wooded area to the south and lead the gaze toward the Lake of Lugano.
Organized in two distinct blocks of duplex residential units, the complex is partially hypogeal to ensure maximum integration with the sloping terrain. The two-level layout also generates large terraces that take on the dimensions of true private roof gardens.
Blades are the hallmark of the project and lead it from the scale of landscape to that of architecture to interior design. Their large radius of curvature of 220 meters is calculated so that the arrow of the inner chord of the circle does not exceed 1 mm for every linear meter, thus making interior spaces furnishable. On the other hand, an additional system of secondary blades divides the units internally to define the different configurations of the apartments.
The materiality of corten emerges from the landscape and identifies the partitions, lined on both sides with climbing perfumed jasmine, in continuity with the hedges that subdivide the gardens. The greenery is used as an element that integrates and complements the architecture: both horizontally and vertically it functions as both separation and bond. The large windows help strengthen the dialogue between the building and nature, allow the surrounding landscape to be reflected, and amplify its perception, restoring a new vision.


IDA Design Awards


BLT Design Awards


Architecture Masterprize Award


Outstanding Property Award London