Diamond Tree, a diamond in the Po Valley

Project Name: Diamond Tree
Location: Ponzano Veneto, Treviso, Italy
Date of completion: October 2018
Material: Nero Assoluto, Vesuvio
Application: Bathroom cladding, swimming pool cladding
Architect / Designer: Alessandro Lazzari, 3ndy Studio

Designed and made by 3ndy Studio, Vigonovo (Venice), Diamond Tree was born from an architectural concept employing innovative materials, especially Lapitec®, and is centred around a ground-breaking vision of living space.
 
Based on a conceptual parallelepiped, the volume of the building is formed of two irregular prisms using divisions, rotations, subtractions and additions: architectural solutions aimed at creating a fluid space without any corridors joining the zones. Within this logic, sleeping and living areas converge in a space that is "hybrid", generating a stereoscopic vision of the internal and external environments, bathed in the light that enters from the large skylights that give unexpected perspectives of the sky. In this configuration, the spaces in the living and sleeping areas maintain their autonomy, but are not separated, in a distribution of the spaces that goes beyond the concept of open space.
The monolithic perception of the spaces has been chiselled out in a sculpture-like manner, through a sequence of diamond breccias, conceived as dynamic perception devices which provide visual access to the exterior, while at the same time ensuring the visual privacy of the interior.
The exterior is already incorporated into the villa, however, through a completely private patio where the branches of a tree are illuminated from above by light which spreads out, lighting up all the living areas. In line with the philosophy of 3ndy Studio, Diamond Tree represents a sculpture to be lived in, flooded with natural light.
 
Coverings: Lapitec® - from surface to modern art form
The choice of materials used inside the house maintained the idea of creating an alternation and a rhythm between the environments: on the one hand natural materials were chosen for their unique characteristics, such as the canaletto walnut cut into slats, and the nero assoluto flamed granite, on the other hand, hi-tech materials were used, implementing them in an unexpected aesthetic role.
The resin chosen for the flooring provides strong consistency throughout the entire villa. From this uniform and compact base glass partition walls rise - separating the living and internal and external spa areas - with alternating white Solid Surface walls and black granite coverings. Lapitec® 100% natural full body sintered stone was used to cover the bathrooms, the totem and an indoor swimming pool in Nero Assoluto with the Vesuvio finish, endowing the environments with an elegant, austere materiality. Alongside this, the stain-resistant and waterproof capacities of the large format slabs make this an ideal material for wet environments such as the spa area and bathrooms. The vertical wall of the shorter side of the swimming pool presents, for the first time ever, a slab of Lapitec® with a work of art engraved upon it. The work, created by artist Giorgio Milani, is an engraving on the sintered stone using water jet of a poem by the grandfather dedicated to his grandchildren, as an indelible memento of some of the key moments in the history of the family. The totem, more than three and a half metres tall and covered entirely in Lapitec®, emerges from the pool like a stone tablet engraved with an intense family story: lapped by a cascade of water which, like a veil, provides glimpses of what lies below, so that only those who take the time to do so will appreciate the text. This workmanship was made possible by the main feature of Lapitec®: completely “full body”, homogeneous and compact in appearance and performance, right to the very heart of the material.
 
A villa that perfectly balances environmental sustainability and aesthetic technology.
The inner wall dressed with stabilised natural moss and the tree planted within the patio are just a few of the external signs of a considered approach that wishes not only to include nature in the architecture, but also to be consciously respectful of it. Adapting this philosophy to energy choices, 3ndy studio has designed an active building, i.e. capable of producing more energy than it consumes. Using only renewable energy sources and combining the use of heat pumps, photovoltaic solar panels and a geothermal system with careful use of the windows for the passive accumulation of solar energy in cold seasons, the energy needs of the building can be met in full.
The decision to maintain an extremely clean aesthetic, including for the electrical systems, led 3ndy studio to adopt an innovative solution, transforming the interior into interactive architecture. Standard Vimar plates and switches with touch controls were customised and integrated into the interior walls, completely removing the traditional concept of switches and resulting in interactive control of the home with a light touch of the surface.
The name given to this project, Diamond Tree, perfectly describes the aesthetic and architectural values that inspired the architects: the external shape, in fact, recalls the cut of a precious stone. Nature, moreover, symbolised by the tree, is in continuous communication with the interior through the constant interaction between materials, spaces, energies and light.