Alberto Apostoli / Residence Santa Caterina; environmental architecture in Verona

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Alberto Apostoli / Residence Santa Caterina; environmental architecture in Verona it has been modified: 2013-02-12 di Benedict Flowers

It was inaugurated in Verona on Residence SANTA CATERINA  - living between environment and excellence - designed by the architect Alberto Apostoli, a residential architecture project in which the surrounding environment is an integral part of the project itself. The construction is the result of a previous “Program Agreement” (the first in the municipality of Verona) stipulated between the Municipality of Verona and the property and covers an area of ​​approximately 35.000 square meters. On this area, in addition to the residential area of ​​21.000 cubic meters, there is also a public park of approximately 10.000 square meters and a parking area for approximately 80 cars.

The overall design is meant to represent an authentic new project in Veneto landscape quality and environmental integration. The residence is in fact made entirely through meadows and walking trails that fit almost directly inside homes creating views and angles of vision suggestive and open.

The property has chosen an innovative project but, at the same time, strongly rooted in the imagination of those who love nature and modernity, without sacrificing the proximity of services and the historic center (located just five minutes by car). The intervention includes only two floors above ground and a basement (equal to approximately 9.000 square meters) which helps to create the distribution of the housing blocks. The floor plan of the basement - simple and symmetrical - is hidden on the ground floor through the
creation of residential volumes, made by means of elements aggregated in an orderly but not rational way.

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The overall architecture, its geometry and its volumes are emphasized by the colors and materials whose selection and definition have been the subject of study and careful consideration.

Apostles sought formal solutions are simple but at the same time able to lighten the volume and pierce the closures visual:

“I wanted the residents to want to wander among walls and trees as in an open landscape full of visual surprises; I tried to think of a place where a community is linked by love for the environment and living outside ”.

The same materials used outside the houses have also been used for the inside in a stylistic unicum that theoretically combines private functions with the environment. The use of the best energy saving technologies and high quality materials help to create an exclusive, though not necessarily luxurious, environment. The residence is completely fenced on the outside but without internal static barriers and the maintenance of the green is regulated at a collective level through a full-time caretaker / maintainer residing in the complex.

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Lighting is another fundamental element for the integration between exterior and interior and involves the use of similar lighting bodies for the two functions. The external lighting project is substantially based on the idea that architectural elements and trees are to be considered similar for the general aesthetic impact and, therefore, “managed” with the same criteria. The 50 houses are divided into three main types (75,150, 225 square meters) but each single house is unique and particular despite the perfect stylistic coordination of the whole.

A fundamental objective of the project was the identification of a different and innovative housing philosophy, able to propose a lifestyle that is current and in line with the latest social demands. In summary, values ​​such as uniqueness, socialization and integration have been pursued. The uniqueness involved the design of seventy houses with different volumes from each other, providing a particularly rich offer in line with the needs of extreme customization.
Socialization and integration between different families are encouraged by the axis nce of fences between individual homes and the creation of spaces and common pathways.

Strongly innovative systems have been created, both from the technological and energy point of view: a "mixture" of open geothermal energy (three wells that keep the temperature of the fire-fighting water reserve controlled, however scarcely in action) and a closed water loop in service of the individual water / water heat pumps inside the houses.
All housing units are managed internally to the rooms with simple and very reliable home automation systems and equipped with autonomous and radiant floor heating and cooling systems. Each home is equipped with controlled mechanical ventilation systems in the air / air heat pump version that allow homes to enjoy highly appreciated and high internal comfort.

Each house has been certified in "Class A" and is equipped with a plant for the production of electricity (at least 1kW for each real estate unit) by means of photovoltaic panels placed on the roof (about 8 square meters of development). For the production of hot water, solar thermal panels were installed (4 square meters of development) with a 200 liter tank.
In the common parts, the lighting low power consumption comes via light sensor. The aisles are lit by luminaires with presence sensor and photovoltaic system dedicated.

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The entire green area of ​​the Residence is intended to be a space that dialogues with the Adige through the presence of local tree species that create a "faunal corridor", that is a green path that allows flora and fauna to migrate, without barriers, from 'Adige towards the surrounding countryside, passing through the park of the residence.
The green project involves the construction of some hanging gardens. Each essence has been selected only among those typical of the territory without giving up the apparent "naturalness" of a casual and symmetrical green.
Blooms, colored leaves alternate in succession. Deciduous and evergreen trees originate spontaneous landscapes. Wild cherry trees, hornbeams and alders mix with wild roses and flowering shrubs without interrupting the surrounding environment.
Particular attention has been paid to autumn colors, the yellows and oranges of Beeches, Maples and Liriodendron will be able to give chromatic suggestions of great effect. Pyracanthas, wrinkled roses, pomegranates and blackthorns will delight you with their wild fruits and berries.

From a planning point of view, the project is the result of a "program agreement" public / private in which the Property is committed to the creation of a public park, a street with parking area and a roundabout.
Access to the Residence takes place directly from an exit of this roundabout and leads to the entrance to the underground car parks. All the viability within the private area is underground and occupies an area of ​​9.000 square meters. The cars arrive directly under the individual houses.

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