The objectives of our studio are to create projects that tend towards an ideal of architectural quality that integrates environmental sustainability into the territorial context.




The first time I dealt with “Architecture Solare” was when I was commissioned to design the renovation of the FEAT building in Lugano in 1998. The mandate was to study an innovative renovation project in the field of energy remediation. A restructuring that could not only save and produce energy, but also promote the very image of the Federation, with a project of great impact both for young people attending professional school, and for members and future operators of the Ticino Hoteliers Federation.

The challenge of an innovative project in the field of energy recovery stimulated me a lot, but the idea of having to use solar collectors and photovoltaic panels to produce energy scared me. I immediately imagined horrendous solar systems stuck on the roofs.

My first reaction was therefore negative, but after an uninspiring initial impact, I began my research in the field of solar architecture.



In fact, essential to be able to translate the new energy technologies into architectural works is undoubtedly that of a deepening of their knowledge, both in terms of functioning and effectiveness, but also of their aesthetic importance: if in fact any traditional system can be hidden in the second basement , this is not feasible for the products of the new technology which draws energy mostly directly from the sun.

Indeed, by definition, it is visible, and conditions the openings, surfaces and therefore the forms of construction.

Therefore, not only continuous experimentation and continuous formal research in the technological field are essential, but also a new and more profitable study for integration into the work already in the design phase, which does not involve negative conditioning or be aesthetically unsatisfactory.

Solar architecture is that type of architecture that exploits energy from the sun and all those forms of energy that derive from them: hydroelectric energy, wind energy, biomass energy, waves and marine currents.

Bioclimatic architecture, on the other hand, is the one that takes advantage of the summer breezes to cool and ventilate the internal environments, the one that opens to the sun in winter and closes in summer. In this architecture, the glass surfaces face south and are shielded during the night to prevent heat from escaping. The shape of the building and its openings adapt in order to defend themselves from the cold and winter winds. The building adapts to the characteristics of the surrounding environment (vegetation, relief, existing buildings, etc.) to obtain the greatest advantage from a thermal and luminous point of view, and exploits the same "surroundings" to improve its comfort conditions.

Solar Architecture, Bioclimatic Architecture or Bioecological Architecture are not specialized fields of Architecture, but rather architectures that want to relate the "bios" man, as a true user of architecture in front of the external environment, the “climate” being the architecture a result of the intermediation between both.

While the integration of solar systems in architecture leads us to consider the concept of building in architecture from a completely new point of view: this is transformed from a container of activities related to man's productive and biological life, and therefore from a which requires a significant energy consumption, as a tool for direct energy production, usable for one's own and other people's needs.

Thus arose, in the building sector, the need for a radical rethinking of the constructive logic, a transformation that highlights how essential it is to place a high energy sensitivity at the basis of the design process.

It is we architects who are now underestimating the developments and results obtained in recent years in the field of renewable energies, failing or unwilling to assimilate into our creative matrixes the technological and cultural baggage that would allow the creation of energetically aware architectural works.

"There is one profession, only one, architecture, where progress is not de rigueur, where laziness reigns, where one gladly refers to the past.

Everywhere, however, the anxiety of tomorrow haunts and leads to the solution: if you don't move forward, you end up in bankruptcy.

But in architecture you never fail. A privileged profession, unfortunately!"

Le Corbusier (Vers une Architecture)



A quick look at popular architectural strategies applied in the past is enough to realize that the principles of solar architecture are by no means new. In fact, faced with the scarcity of energy resources and technological limitations, the only way man could protect himself from adverse climatic conditions was through the architecture itself. But unfortunately, after the discovery of electricity, all these principles have been lost.

To cite just a few ancient examples: in Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, the courtyards and rooms were oriented according to the different summer and winter thermal requirements, in the villas of Costozza in Veneto, built starting from 1550, a very interesting cooling system exploits the cold air coming from large underground cavities ("covoli") located inside the hills where the Villas stand; the well-known "Apulian trullo" exploits the thermal capacity of the building envelope materials to keep the internal temperature almost constant.

But now everything has changed. The energy problem affects us only in a relative way and the technological construction resources are numerous and diverse. Today it is the problems linked above all to environmental pollution that force us to rethink the way in which we use energy resources. We must therefore approach the situation from a different point of view, trying to offer good levels of environmental comfort but at the same time minimizing the use of polluting energy resources and increasing the use of clean renewable energy sources, such as solar energy.



"The airplane is a product of high selection.
The lesson of the airplane lies in the logic that presided over the statement of the problem and its solution.
The housing issue has not been raised.
The current achievements of architecture no longer respond to our needs.
Nonetheless the standards of the accommodation are discernible.
Mechanics carries within itself an economic factor of selection.
The house is a machine for living in."

Designing means conceiving and describing an object and the technical and procedural methods for building it and for using it in the cultural and environmental conditions that characterize its life.

Designing according to bioclimatic criteria simply means adapting the building to the climate that surrounds it. The design process must therefore assume the environmental data not as a limit to be respected, but as a tool to be used.

The project cannot therefore ignore the incorporation of all those technologies, both passive and active, capable of allowing its work to affect the energy balance of the ecological system as little as possible.

Building is always and in any case an act of violence against nature. In this sense, building is increasingly one of the human activities with the highest environmental impact. In fact, every architect can play an important role for the future of the planet, addressing his design choices differently.

The house is central to this research, in fact it occupies a very important part in everyone's life, often the most important. The attention to the ecological quality of the house in relation to the health of its inhabitants can, starting from an individual research, direct collective consumption in a different way, significantly influencing the production choices that underlie the tendency to environmental disaster.



"Architecture is establishing emotional relationships with raw materials.
Architecture is beyond useful.
Architecture is a plastic fact.
Spirit of order, unity of intention, sense of relationships; architecture involves quantities.
Passion makes a drama out of inert stones."

In tackling the renovation project of the FEAT building, I realized that for the first time I had no paths to follow, no references or examples to cite. In fact, the great masters never dealt with solar architecture, with the integration of photovoltaic panels, no one until then had integrated solar collectors, photovoltaic panels and movable brise-soleils into a single south-facing façade, transforming an existing façade into reinforced concrete facing south in a small power plant.

I was therefore forced to embark on the path of experimentation, research, curiosity but above all adventure.

I believe that photovoltaic panels, solar collectors, mobile Brise-solei, liquid crystal glasses, etc. they are all materials of an architecture in search of a new order. These new technologies applied and integrated into a new contemporary architectural language can even become an expressive and characterizing element for architecture like steel, concrete, glass and aluminum have been.

I believe that photovoltaic panels, solar collectors, mobile Brise-solei, liquid crystal glasses, etc. they are all materials of an architecture in search of a new order. These new technologies applied and integrated into a new contemporary architectural language can even become an expressive and characterizing element for architecture like steel, concrete, glass and aluminum have been.

"A great era has begun.
There is a new spirit.
There is a quantity of works marked by a new spirit; are found mainly in industrial production.
Architecture suffocates in habits.
Styles are a lie.
Style is a principled unity that animates all the works of an era and is the result of a spiritual character.
Our era expresses its style every day.
Our eyes, unfortunately, cannot yet see it."

Le Corbusier (Vers une Architecture 1921)



At the basis of every project there is always a professional ethics where every architecture must improve people's quality of life.

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