location: Montagnola, Lugano, Switzerland
built-up area: 260 sqm
date: 2012 – 2015

design architect: Mino Caggiula
project architect: Elisa Beretta
executive architect: Elisa Beretta
team: Alberto Bernasconi, Andrea Maldarizzi

The creation of a human-scaled architecture: this was the goal behind the two Prêt-à-Habiter villas.

The origin of the process was the precise request of the developer to design two detached homes at the same time, placed in different locations and able to be sold as attractive real estate operations for end-users still unknown.

Therefore, starting from a hypothetical blank sheet of paper, we let the location inspire us, as well as a guiding concept that embodies the values and ideals that unconsciously reside in every individual and that pursue our architectural ideals. From this peculiar mental process, the concept based on the ideas of Prêt-à-Porter, Prêt-à-Manger and Prêt-à-Habiter was born. Logics of human subconscious that make the individual want to possess and consume symbols of social belonging.

The Prêt-à-Habiter Villa is located in Collina D’Oro, Montagnola, one of the most renowned regions in the Lugano district, characterized by the presence of water, vegetation and small volumes of private villas.

The upper level of the external south-facing side wall is completely windowless to shield occupants from prying eyes. At the same time, it serves as a wall beam allowing a column-free ground floor. This in turn affords visual permeability through the large sliding glazed surface, continuing the private interior living space into the wider community.

Beauty identifies with the person as a whole and the architectural object becomes a symbol of social identity, a structure ready to be inhabited and to include in the individual’s daily life elements that they can identify with and that succeed in satisfying the sense of property.