[ GG-loop ] Gentle Genius


“The design process for my family’s house started following an intuition, that developed over time taking the form we can see now. During the evolution of the project a transformation, like the renewal of the king, has occurred in me. One of the major catalysts has been the album “In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson, inhabiting my subconsciousness unraveling itself through catharsis in this project.


LocationVia Alessandro Manzoni, 25, 70022 Altamura BA, Italy

Project Year2015

PhotographsMichael Sieber · Photographer Profile

Programfacade refurbishment, energy saving technology

Area230 sqm facade

Main contractor/builderImpresa Cannito Domenico

Steel workSaverio Petronella 

Main supplierMapei S.p.A.

Building material supplierFassa Bortolo S.p.A.

At the beginning I imagined to restore the building giving it a coherent fortress-like look again. Whilst the tower took shape in my imagination, a castle emerged in which the King had trapped himself, overwhelmed by his fears, his dark side, prone to decay and death, the Nigredo. The court where tension, resignation and sacrifice evolved into hope, rebirth, the project itself. ”

The city and its various parts can be seen as a music score, the edifices acting as notes played by different instruments simultaneously. A melody is created by, what the Romans used to call Genius Loci, the spirit of the place, the conductor of the city. Historic centres usually have a clear, harmonious melody, but oftentimes the soundscapes of the outer layers of a city are disrupted, lacking a conductor able to integrate architectonic interventions throughout space and time. Notes follow each other without a scheme, unbalanced, generating feelings of abandon and indifference.

Gentle Genius is born in such an environment, aiming to generate awareness of the critical current condition. It sets a new key in the urban music score, recovering a deep note lost in time, reinventing local instruments to manifest as a sound from the future, allowing the Genius Loci to compose new music again.

The Genius Loci of the area, after decades of abandon, has finally arisen from its sleep. The facade starts to vibrate and due to its structure creates an ever moving surface. The red represents the strength of the genius. Red has the longest wave length of the visible spectrum and can be associated with the longest sound-waves that, rather than touching our ears, are felt in the torso. Hence it touches the instincts of the viewer, it is not linear, it is multifaceted perception that reaches out from the walls, transforming a residential building into a sculpture. The dormant feelings in the subconscious of the viewer are awakened and stirred, augmenting the intensity of the predominant emotion, acting like a mirror. The spirit has found a place to emerge again, he shakes and touches those that are outside and protects and shelters those that have welcomed him.

from archdaily



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