During the Seventies, a massive construction process took place in Catania, an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily. Many earthworks were made to found the high buildings that engulfed several factories on the outskirts of the city. One of these earthworks revealed the existence of an early twentieth century structure that was used by Sicilian-based studio Tuttiarchitetti as the foundation plan of Casa SG: an extension project for the 5 meters wide and 20 long-construction located between tall buildings built during the second half of the twentieth century.
The ‘surviving’ building, made of generous walls of lava stone, was originally conceived as a workshop and then adapted as a house. A wooden ‘hut’ was placed on top of the existing structure and, like a gem set between the rears of massive buildings, was rotated six degrees, cut on the below volume and carved by two terraces.
Everything in Casa SG was made of Etna’s chestnut wood, a material with an ancient tradition in local architecture offering considerable technical qualities
The six degrees rotation was not a random decision: it contradicts the familiarity transmitted by Casa SG ‘s shape reminding of the archetype of the house with the gable roof.
With only two diagonal openings – one towards North-East facing a public garden, and another one towards South-West facing the city- Casa SG was made of wood: a material chosen not only by its practical advantages in terms of energy saving and resistance to earthquakes, but also from the desire to emphasize the nature of a risky intervention. Although discreet, Casa SG intends to form a gap within the context where it is located, restoring dignity and value of the ‘precarious’ and small-scale projects.
Photography is by Salvatore Gozzo