Minimalissimo favourite John Pawson defines minimalism as a quality standard that cannot be improved upon subtraction. Keeping true to his work ethic, Casa delle Bottere was the conclusion of a five year process—truly slow architecture with a mature and refined end result. It balances regional pragmatism, from the Venetian region in Italy, with undeniable geometry. Symmetry reigns in all areas, from the carefully tilted ceiling to discrete inner rooms. Minimalism comes through both in form, and more so as a case study in sustainability.
Casa delle Bottere has the honour of being one of seventy houses in Italy awarded with the CasaClima Oro Certification; meaning it is a zero-consumption house. From the recycled materials, all triple-glazed (such as aluminium and UPVC), to the photovoltaic panels on the roof—all in all, an excellent reference in energy efficiency. It reveals itself as a masterfully technical building as an interesting and playful manipulation on angles and spaces.
The outer shell offers an almost humble form, resembling a pictogram of a house, the most simple of forms; the reality is a dynamic asymmetric roof, made with custom-made white concrete slabs and carried by slender columns. As the visitor enters from the cave-like entrance on the sunken ground floor, each level reveals differing sizes and shapes as it makes its way up. Interestingly each room has the benefit of a distinct roof form, thanks to the aforementioned asymmetry.
Gathering a collection of materials, yet with absolute lightweightness beaming from all areas; John Pawson remains a master creator of architecture not limited to sharp visual aesthetics, but firmly rooted in strong technical expertise in light, proportions, and materials. It is minimalism as a source of fresh and exciting new directions always.