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Villa del floricultore (House of the Floriculturist)

Giuseppe Terragni, Villa del floricultore (House of the Floriculturist), via Pasquale Paoli 49, Rebbio (Como), 1935-37

The project of this house has three substantial modifications at the behest of the client, Amadeo Bianchi. Terragni was forced to modify the initial solution of a single-family villa with a garden roof. In the second project he reduces the loggias to a simple terraces by adding an apartment on the ground floor. The final project instead has a decrease in volume with a single accomodation. The compositional freedom of the first solution, based on a successful alternation of filled and empty spaces, is contained in the final version, which maintains the layout on pilotis, it is articulated on a quadrangular plan but is affected by the limitations imposed. However, it is worth noting all the significant elements that herald new design hypotheses, confirmed in the contemporary Villa Bianca de Seveso. Construction elements like the staircase with a continuous band leading in crescendo to the first floor (reinforced by the scaled line of the steps); the asymmetrical ribbon windows on one of the sides; the large frame which, extending across the entire elevation, frames the balcony on the second floor and the porch space which, by raising the building from ground level does not interrupt the continuity of the garden and connects it to the greenhouse behind it. However, the infill on the ground floor, carried out while the architect was still alive, however makes the original structure difficult to read and profoundly modifying the relationship with the external space.