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Underground district as
alternative to urban sprawl  

Early Chestnut[IT]


Bachelor thesis
supervisor: Prof. Arch. D. Pandakovic


Special mention

Fassa Bortolo Sustainable Architecture Award


Published in

M.Balzani, N.Marzot

“Architectures for a sustainable territory”

Natural House

Castano Primo is situated between Milan and Varese, a few kilometers far from Malpensa airport. Furthermore the city  belongs to Ticino park.
As well as the major part of other small town, Castano is formed by a very dense historical center and beyond urban sprawl, mainly made of detached and semi-detached houses.
Castano doesn't gently end in the countryside but sharply ends due to a certain line. My project is made in the aim to smooth this harsh edge between countryside and city suggesting a nuance, instead of a clean boundary.
The building has been immersed into the ground in order to preserve horizon and plains visibility, which was one of the main desire. 
The project looks for hybridization with the place to become a part of countryside and safeguard it, in contrast to urban sprawl where people lean a volume and fence their own space in, separating it hardly from the landscape.
The proposal tries to dissolve limits between figure\background, inside\outside, countryside\city, private\public. Living underground is the opposite of fencing in: it means living in contact with what surrounds us, rather than divide ourselves from our environment. 
House is underground while places where we can create relationships are on top: in the same place we find privacy and community life.


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