At the foot of the Sciliar, in the picturesque area of Alpe di Siusi (Bolzano), the spirit of a barn is reborn as a home. The project, realised by noa* (network of architecture), has at its core, the South Tyrolean tradition combined with surprising features internally, resulting from design of visionary and unexpected spaces. An almost magical ambience is created, inspired by childhood memories.

Project name: Messner
Typology: Private dwelling house
Location: Siusi allo Sciliar, Castelrotto (I)
Client: Stefan Rier
Architecture: noa* (network of architecture) / lead architect: Stefan Rier
Interior Design: noa* (network of architecture) / lead architect: Stefan Rier
Construction start: Spring 2015
Completion: December 2017
Intervention: New construction
Volume: 1,100 m3
Surface area:
220 m2
Text: Laura Ragazzola (translation: brain international)
Photos: Alex Filz

Messner - The dream house By noa network of architecture - Sheet8Keep tradition in mind, but at the same time move away so as to create an original identity, a new way of living, a different structuring of the domestic space, and to search inspiration from a childhood passed in the mountains. This, in summary, was the challenge faced by noa* in the project to construct a new home at Siusi in Sciliar, a construction to take the place of a deserted house in the centre of the village, with the original structure dating back to 1850.

Messner - The dream house By noa network of architecture - Sheet10The job, completed in 2017, needs to be understood in its complex and delicate context. We are talking about South Tyrol, and a project executed at a height of 1100 a.s.l. at the foot of Alpe di Siusi, a part of the Dolomites recognised as a Unesco World Heritage due to its outstanding natural beauty. It was therefore extremely important to respect the parameters of the original structure and the urban planning requirements and regulations of the village. For Stefan Rier, founder, together with Lukas Rungger of the noa* studio, and in this instance ‘his own client’, the project was an opportunity to give a personal footprint to his own property. In this sense there was a move away from the traditional principles of spatial distribution, this being achieved in part by recalling memories of a childhood spent in the mountains.

Messner - The dream house By noa network of architecture - Sheet12“We wanted the project to respect the aesthetics and the urban aspects of the village, a village where wooden barns alternate with plaster-fronted houses destined for farmers and the keeping of cattle.”, explains architect Rier. “With this in mind, we finished the exterior structure with a ‘coating’ in keeping with tradition: a wooden grid on all 4 sides, just as is used for alpine barns.

Messner - The dream house By noa network of architecture - Sheet14However, as far as the interior is concerned, I decided to leave tradition behind me, and thereby free the design from any preconceived limitations. In this way I was able to look forward…but also a little back in time to the beautiful years of my childhood”.

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