Casa Rizza

Nested in the historical center of Vacallo, a small village with 3.000 inhabitants in the Italian-bordering side of the Swiss frontier, this building renovation was designed by Swiss-based architecture studio Studio Inches Architettura.

Originally an agricultural village, in the 20th century Vacallo became a residential area and the 17th century constructions in the historical center became protected by the government, a condition that imposes a series of restrictions for any architectural intervention.

Initially a storage barn for the farmers, it came to house 6 families and then had the ground floor converted into the headquarters of a local political party. The renovation project respects the rigid swiss laws that impede any alterations to the façade openings nor the ceiling structure. The interior, however, was completely gutted in order to maximize the small area of 30 sq. meters, a feat greatly aided by the double-height atrium in the ground floor.

I love how the cast concrete slab complements the pure white of the interior walls and floors, brightened beautifully by all the greenery, and how the many openings pour light into this small 6m x 6m space!

Photography by Tonatiuh Ambrosetti, Daniela Droz.