Situated on the edge of an enchanted Italian countryside, is an early 1900’s liberty building that was carefully renovated into a family home in 2005. At the request of the owners, local architecture studio act_romegialli were tasked with designing a separate pavilion to house an indoor pool, solarium, fitness center and locker rooms. At last, ‘La Piscina del Roccolo’ was born.
The two level pavilion houses a sculptural swimming pool and solarium on the ground floor, with views spanning the countryside. Below the ground floor is the locker room, kitchen and fitness center. The pavilion is strategically located away from the house to create a totally new and independent space reached by a path that emphasizes the sense of privacy.
The pavilion’s distant location from the house creates an interesting and dynamic relationship between the two spaces. For maximum privacy, the main house is linked to the underground pool house via an underground tunnel. An irregular path was determined by the established trees which were to be protected. The tunnel also connects via a few steps to a second small glass enclosed conservatory totally open to the surrounding parkland.
A glass enclosed narrow bridge connects the conservatory to the main house. The specific design of the structural steel was placed outside the glass perimeter. This was to give depth and emphasis to the internal volume and at the same time make the window frame design secondary.Stone footings of the conservatory on the south side of the main house enabled changes in the surrounding garden level, to give a direct connection between the garden and the internal space.
The pavilion space containing the indoor pool, fitness area and small kitchen is based on a sequence of simple geometric volumes in either wood or cement to contain the various functions. All technical requirements for ventilation, climate control, automated pool cover etc were designed to be as discreet as possible within the overall design. Choice of material for the pool lining and surrounding pavement needed to be durable and, neutral in color. It also needed to be able to cover steps, ledges and curved surfaces (pavement, walls and pool lining). The aim was to achieve a sense of continuity within the volume inside and outside the pool. A small white ceramic mosaic tile was chosen.
The choice of continuity of material creates an effect: a mass of water finds its natural resting state and settles in the lowest part of the volume, held by a dynamic and at the same time gentle form before it slowly follows its course down to quietly settle in the pool. The west side of the pavilion (front) houses a sliding door. The door totally disappears into a structural cavity to maximize the connection with the surrounding artificial lake and parkland. In summer the indoor and outdoor spaces become one, a seamless conversation between both water surfaces (pool and lake) ..... The surface level of the pool and lake are the same. A small patio and solarium 40 cm lower than this creates an entrance. The lowered space, obscured from the view of the house mediates the relationship of the natural surroundings and the pavilions simple geometry.
Photography by Marcello Mariana