The entrance to the Ca’ Gioia villa in Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Italy, perfectly frames one of the magnificent 16th century works by architect Andrea Palladio, as well as the first foothills of the Venetian Prealps. Completed in early 2021, the villa is set on a gently sloping ground that is planted with olives and other fruit trees, spanning nearly 86,000 square feet. Constructed in an L-shape, which retraces the lines of a pre-existing agricultural building, the new residential structure interprets the guiding principles of Palladian architecture with a contemporary flair. The long lower building with a pitched roof, facing west and set at a slightly higher level, is connected to the main two-story building, recreating, in the style of the great Renaissance master himself, a wonderful balance between monumental forms and simplicity. The volumes here are pure and meticulously geometric, characterized by a very precise rapport between empty and filled spaces. On the ground level, the rooms are more open and flowing, with large windows creating a direct connection with the expansive garden.
Inside, the two-story section of the villa houses the entryway with a living and dining area, the kitchen and a study, while the upper floor comprises three bedrooms, four bathrooms and a large walk-in closet. The single-story portion of Ca’ Gioia is home to garages, a guest room with a bathroom, a studio apartment for staff and a large open space, which was designed to adapt depending on the needs of the family. Light colors chosen for the homogeneous interior finishes increase the light flooding into the home. Large slabs of Lapitec in the shade of Bianco Crema with a Vesuvio finish were employed as flooring, while natural wooden beams and paneling outline the ceiling and several of the interior walls.
The design of Ca’ Gioia was a close collaboration between its owner and architect Francesco Pascali. “We worked for almost four years on the design of this building to make it a conceptually complete work, based on using, practically exclusively, a material that is very dear to me, Lapitec, in all its forms,” explained the architect, who oversaw the project from the preliminary phases through to delivery. “[This included] the facade, the roof, the floors, the walls and floors in the bathrooms, the kitchen countertop and some of the furniture. Working opposite a masterpiece like the Palladian Villa Angarano meant that the design had to show great respect for the master, with the identification of modules, the correct proportions and the relationship between full and empty spaces.”
Lapitec sintered stone slabs envelop the villa completely, covering its horizontal and vertical surfaces and even the roof. The large-format slabs, measuring 1500 x 3365 mm, were laid both in their entirety, as well as cut, to create a tailored and precisely dimensioned shell. The ventilated facades are in the shade of Bianco Crema in the Arena, Dune and Vesuvio finishes, while the roof is in Terra Ebano with a Dune finish. The outdoor flooring, enriched by planters and extending around the complete perimeter of the building, consists of Bianco Polare Lapitec slabs.
The ventilated facades, measuring a total area of approximately 6,500 square feet, have been finished with 12-mm-thick slabs supported by mechanical anchors, with joints reduced to the very minimum, creating a strongly monolithic and contemporary architectural feel. The minimalist profile of both buildings is a symbol of a new and refined functional aesthetic, further enhanced by the technological component underpinning the performance characteristics of Lapitec, which in addition to being resistant to UV rays, temperature changes and the elements -- thanks to its non-porous surface -- during the summer, lowers the interior temperature to create optimum living conditions. Moreover, in the winter, the total water resistance of the sintered stone keeps the insulation dry, with significant benefits.
Lapitec slabs, in Terra Ebano with the Dune finish, bring the same benefits and exceptional performance to the 5,700-square-foot ventilated roof, interrupted only by a few skylights and a large solar panel unit that makes the home a model of sustainability.