When architects Gianmatteo Romegialli and Erika Gaggia saw their friend Carlo “Dino” Marchetti’s garage with the gorgeous views of the Italian Alps, “almost as a joke”, they suggested converting it into something “fun”. Given Dino’s passion for gardening, they decided to let nature in on the renovation.
By creating just a steel frame around the building, they enabled local plants and vines to wrap the home in a second skin of vegetation.
Inside they left most of the cement masonry and added raw, industrial materials like galvanized steel to create a kitchen and window frames. Adding just a hole in one wall- between the old garage and former storage room- they expanded the space into a second room for relaxing, entertaining and planning and potting the garden.
Perched high above the province of Sondrio in the Raethian Alps, “Green Box” is shaped like a conventional home, but it’s the plants that give it the gable-roofed shape. The architects (of Act_Romegialli) used simple glazed panels and simple joinery to create a structure with the feel of a lived-in greenhouse. Like any living structure, the home changes with the seasons to match the nature that surrounds it.