Observatory houses / Turistic site


International competition


Tatiana Keskevich, Nataly Nemkova, Eugene Liashuk




Roccascalegna, Italy







The fascinating landscape of Roccascalegna is beautiful yet fragile. It offers a visitor, tired from the urban life, a shelter and escape from the city’s noise. Creating a new intervention is the area an architect should be very careful considering the rich past of the place.
Main idea of the project is a ribbon, that vines throng the landscape connecting the new and the old.
The entrance to future touristic site is located on the south entrance to the Fortress, which offers an easy rich from the town of Roccascalegna. At the moment the site has no disabled access, so we propose to use a lift at the main entrance. Strait from the entrance the user will see an amazing view capturing eye. Then proposed trails will go in two main directions - to the sky lounge, which located on the north-west of the site, and to the viewing points and observatory houses. All trails are planned along the gentle slope so that they can be maximum accessible. The materials used are wood and stone. Were it is necessary because of the slope and to save important vegetation they are build on sticks.
Entrance to the sky lounge goes through the info point and the bookshop. The building is planned along the hill with the windows facing the view to Massif of the Majella. The shape of the building allows visitor to experience moving between the rooftop and viewing points on the ground.
Particular locations of each house were considered to save as much of existing vegetation as it is possible. This also has another role - the view from the houses are maximum in this case.
Observatory houses are easy to build modular construction. The are made on sticks to save the landscape and to have a maximum view on surrounding mountains and to watch stars. One of the walls is transparent to create a direct dialogue between the visitor and the environment. The glass also goes to the roof to create a night view observing stars. Yet each house is completely separate to sustain privacy. Each house has a ladder to the ground.
Our design is based on the complex techniques to analyze the site and environment. Performing GIS analysis with satellite image we differentiated types of vegetation according to its density and height. This helped us to understand the best location for observatory houses and Sky Lounge.
Using the elevation model of the site we also performed slope evaluation which is shown on the scheme above from red to green - from steep to low. We thought important to locate ourtrails on the gentle slope where this is possible to avoid construction works while building them. Our intention was make the whole complex maximum accessible for wheelchair users, elderly people, people with buggies and cyclists.
Simple shape of the house with gable roofing reminds the lineament of traditional houses in the area. The houses are formed of modules 4.5 m width each. They are composed of 4 base modules, that make the required house area. Module step size is 1.5m. Under each of the observatory cabin located a technical unit that can be reached from the excisting passage.