Further extension of the spread-out hotel, Italy
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    Site The two houses stand on the winding streets within the old city centre, under the castle hill. Surrounded by the compact urban fabric, thei… Read More
    Site The two houses stand on the winding streets within the old city centre, under the castle hill. Surrounded by the compact urban fabric, their location is close to other existing hotel cells, in order to strengthen its presence into the town and optimise logistics. The houses were originally conceived for large families. They are very simple aggregations of contiguous squared rooms served by a common staircase. They share a similar construction: basalt walls and vaults at the first floor and a tiled roof on a wooden frame. Both houses are now empty and falling into ruin. Plaster crumbled off their stone walls, roofs and a few stone vaults collapsed, a wild vegetation covered their facades and floors. The one in Via Adelasia is a rectangle with his long sides following the contour lines. Its southern facade is two stories high, the ground floor being used as stalls. Its northern side is just one story, because of the ground slope. The facade of the house in Via Malaspina is just as wide as a single row of cells, arranged in depth, climbing along the hill. Its span roof encloses a higher volume at the centre of the house. Intentions This projects starts from the assumption that refurbishment reduces emissions because it basically reuses the grey energy embedded into the existing buildings. The key is to find a solution to minimise changes in the existing walls without renouncing to the current standards of daylighting and ventilation. The typology of the two houses seem incompatible with their use as hotel rooms. The rooms lead one into the next without hallways, and their windows open towards the narrow streets at the same level. This arrangement hinders both privacy and comfort. The thermal inertia of the massive walls, which could be useful for a home, seems not appropriate to warm up or cool down rooms quickly and for short timespans. Toilets and service rooms require a few changes in the internal distribution. Moreover, the small number of windows and their surface do not provide adequate daylighting and air changes. Although building regulations permit to gain more space by rising the roof, in this case the resulting volume would look incongruous with the urban landscape. Moreover, normalising the internal distribution to a staircase-hallway scheme and adding one storey would imply radical transformations of the existing walls. Then, we decided to develop our solution from the existing space and materiality and the opportunities and constraints they offered. Spatial configuration In order to radically change the relationship between the rooms and with the streets, we decided to keep the collapsed cells as courtyards with the purpose of improving microclimate, cross-ventilation, daylighting and enhancing the privacy of the surrounding rooms with the minimum effort. It is like if time changed the original typology: a line building composed by a matrix of roofed cells could be read as courtyard house if some cell collapses. The existing structural elements are left in place, reinforced and refurbished. The exposed materiality of the basalt stone walls and vaults becomes a distinctive design feature. The other noteworthy spatial elements are wooden prefabricated light shells, that build the inner surfaces and roofs of the hotel rooms. These shells should lightly affect the existing masonry so that they could be easily removed, leaving it back to its present state. The new light cells appear as boxes among the ancient walls. To avoid a striking contrast between the existing stone masonry and the new wooden surfaces, plants climb on an external network of wires covering the shells. Together with the vegetation in the new courtyards, they contribute to the summer cooling of the building, to its aesthetic quality and retain a suggestion of the current state of ruin. To achieve comfort conditions in the shortest time the light wooden shells exclude the basalt walls from the climatic behaviour of the building, using an internal insulation with a high density insulating material. Clerestory windows in the shells maximise solar gains during the cold season in order to reduce the need of heating. A ventilated roof dissipates heating loads in summer and evaporates moisture in winter. Air changes occur through window opening: depending on outside temperatures and from winds, users will open the northern windows during the day, and the southern ones at dusk. The double glazed windows are protected with insulated shutters to control the solar gains. Those on the northern side are internal, and easy to use from the inside. Those on the southern clerestories are external and will be put in place in summer and removed in winter. The small windows on the lower part of the walls have exterior shutters operated by hand. A wood-fired boiler and solar thermal panels contribute to floor heating system and hot water through renewable energy. All the plumbing and ducts run between the stone walls and the light shells, with minimal interventions. The new courtyards allow a quite flexible grouping of the guest rooms, that can be rented individually or as suites. Furthermore, this scheme keeps some of the existing service doors that directly connect the courtyards to the street, giving each one an individual access. In some cases, depending on the geometry of spaces, the bathroom is divided in two parts: a room with sink and toilet and a room with the shower, adding further flexibility in case of use as suites. All structures, fixtures and fittings are reversible. Read Less
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Further extension of the spread-out hotel, Osilo (Sardinia, Italy), 2008.
Spread-out hotels are hotels whose rooms are located in old buildings within a historic town centre. 
This project provides new rooms to a spread-out hotel in the heart of a small town in northern Sardinia by refurbishing two old houses close to the castle. The crux of this design experiment is the usual conflict between heritage restoration and energy efficiency improvement, that usually implies heavy interventions to enhance daylighting and ventilation.

The project tries to pursue a low-carbon strategy through a configuration that combines energy efficiency, heritage, and grey energy preservation. 

Refurbishment usually operates against time, bringing back a building to its original state - if such a thing exists. 

In this project we tried the other way round, accepting the consequences of the flowing of time, and drawing on them to improve privacy, day lighting and ventilation in an otherwise dense spatial structure. It pursues at once spatial richness, emissions reduction and thermal comfort. 

Its distinctive mark is the serendipitous use of some accidents as climatic device. It refuses the ideological attitude to reverse decay, while embraces it as an opportunity for prospective spatial transformations. 

Although the new courtyards reduce the area of the building, the whole approach seems a viable solution in places afflicted by demographic decline and an interesting way to adapt the traditional compact typologies to the prospective climate change with its soaring of temperatures.

General plan. 
Red: Spread-out hotel buildings. Black: prominent prublic buildings. 
1. Malaspina Castle. 2. Monte Granatico (Grain Storage). Spread-out hotel central building (refurbished). 3. House in Via Adelasia (refurbished). 4. House in via Malaspina (refurbished).5 6. House in via Malaspina. 6. House in via Eleonora d'Arborea.
Current situation of one of the houses.
House in Via Eleonora d'Arborea. Upper floor.
House in Via Eleonora d'Arborea. Lower floor.
House in Via Eleonora d'Arborea. Longitudinal sections.
House in Via Malaspina. Rendering of a longitudinal section across the collapsed cells turned into patios.
House in Via Malaspina. Plans.
House in Via Malaspina. Longitudinal section.
House in Via Malaspina. Cross sections and street elevation.
Project team: 
Architettura e Pianificazione s.r.l. 
Francesco Spanedda (team leader) 
Collaborators: Massimiliano Campus, Silvia Farris. Consultant: Antonio Serra (Energy).