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This Italian Home Defines Isolation Goals

In Italy’s Marche region, Architect Simone Subissati defines luxury by his use of space and his response to cues from the landscape that surrounds the home

“The idea was to overflow, to break the boundaries, without following conventions whereby the private living space is separated from the agricultural work space.” says architect Simone Subissati.

Lush grass fields surround the “Border Crossing House”, the private residence built by Simone Subissati Architects in Polverigi, in the hills near Ancona, Italy. Set on a ridge, between the city and the countryside, this house, traversed by the landscape, fits into the territory, exploring the theme of the border and searching for new forms of permeability in space and time. Simone Subissati was trained in the Florentine school of architecture and a pupil of Remo Buti and Gianni Pettena, exponents of the Radical movement. He designed the residence with clean and original forms, bringing together the orthography of traditional rural constructions and the experimentation of various architectural experiences to create a project meant to make a difference.

Simone Subissati Architects. Border Crossing House in Polverigi (Ancona, Italy). | Alessandro Magi Galluzzi

The Border Crossing House designed by Simone Subissati is the outcome of a reflection on inhabited space seen as a threshold: the house relies upon its relationship with the outdoors, intended as a territory extended to the extreme of one’s gaze.

No fences guard the Border Crossing House. It is located at the edge of the town of Polverigi, where cultivated fields are. Grass reaches the very edge of the house, which is surrounded only by a thin pavement. A strip of decorative perennial grasses ideally envelopes the house, as if it belonged to the fields (cultivated with wheat, barley, field beans, sunflower).

Simone Subissati Architects. Border Crossing House in Polverigi (Ancona, Italy). | Alessandro Magi Galluzz

The ground floor, dedicated to the living area, is characterized by the presence of a deep red coating (the main body is made of iron painted with an anti-rust primer). The upper floor, in addition to housing the sleeping area, also includes a large open space contained by a light frame covered with a micro-perforated and pre-tensioned membrane. It distinguishes itself by the color white and it gets completely illuminated at night.

A large central portion of the volume is left open on the ground floor and can be crossed from side to side. In addition to this opening in the building, large sections of the metal enclosure easily turn into apertures thanks to the the windows, which, when opened, are orthogonal to the facade. This allows the living room, kitchen and spa to establish a direct relation with the outside space. Thanks to these devices, the volume of the building appears almost to be hovering over the ground. This perception is also enhanced by the presence of the swimming pool, placed perpendicular to the house and surrounded by grass, reminiscent of the water collection tanks used for irrigation.

Simone Subissati Architects. Border Crossing House in Polverigi (Ancona, Italy). | Alessandro Magi Galluzz

The upper floor is accessed by a wooden staircase with an elementary structure, painted white. From it, one accesses the most private area of the house, where bedrooms are hosted. For the rooms, instead of simple windows, Subissati designs visual devices, which he calls “diaphragms.”

As on the ground floor, windows here do also allow one to contemplate both sides of the landscape. Although very small in size, these openings have been designed to create surprising optical effects. A play of mirrors, arranged to completely cover the side openings of the windows, multiplies the views of the surrounding landscape. Protected by a simple chicken coop net, a balcony leads to a space where the winter garden and a second living room are hosted. This section of the building is made of wood and covered with a micro-perforated membrane that during the day allows natural light to filter inside the house and at night turns the Border Crossing House into a sort of large lamp.

Simone Subissati Architects. Border Crossing House in Polverigi (Ancona, Italy). | Alessandro Magi Galluzz

A playful attitude led Simone Subissati to think of the project as an assembly process. In this sense, the Border Crossing House tends to become a metaphysical element, a sort of archetype of the rural house elaborated through a constant reference to ‘memory’ and ‘play’. Simone Subissati’s project, devoid of any vernacular temptation, is committed to contemporaneity.

“I was fascinated by the rural houses of my grandparents and relatives in the Marche countryside, characterized by a straightforward simplicity, a true essentiality that is very different from today’s trendy poetic of minimalism. They were houses that could be crossed from room to room, the work space on the ground floor, connected and open on both sides,” the architect says.

Border Crossing House was the subject of Rustico, film by Federica Biondi, set during a day of harvesting, narrates its essential and unique qualities of the house.

RUSTICO from The Architecture Player on Vimeo.

About the Architect

Simone Subissati was trained at the School of Architecture of the University of Florence. He was pupil of Remo Buti and Gianni Pettena, exponents of the Italian Radical movement, and of Roberto Segoni, internationally renowned designer and founder of the first Italian course in industrial design.

Simone Subissati lives and works between Milan and Ancona, where he founded his studio Simone Subissati Architects.

SSA is a multidisciplinary research laboratory that works on residential and public architecture as well as in interior design and design.

Works by SSA are characterized by experimentation and theoretical reflection on some fundamental themes of the discipline - from the interpretation of architectural space to the interrelationships with contemporary art, to the centrality of creating an architecture in relation to the materials and craftsmanship of the designed artifact.

SSA received an honorable mention at the Compasso d’Oro International Prize in 2015.

Story contributed to Metro.Style by Sara Mazullo, Image Media.