Posthuman Villa

Location: Punta Licosa, Italy
Year: 2020
Category: architectural manifesto
Type: residential
Client: n / a
Status: research project on display at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale
Area: 150sqm

Philosophical Manifesto: Leonardo Caffo
Architecture: Mario Coppola
Sustainability: Paolo Cresci, Arup Italia
Scientific advice: Brunella Velardi
Structural concept: Giammichele Melis, Arup Italia
Arup Italia working group: Mariela Tsopanova, Rick Titulaer, Alessio Mirabella, Luca Orlandini
Visualization: Chiara Pisapia
Graphic design: Gabriele Rollin

The Posthuman Villa is a manifesto project that proposes a new architectural language based on the concept of hybridization. Accompanied by the Manifesto of posthuman architecture, the villa declares that the world does not belong to us, and the spatial enclosures we build, within which we are born and live, however different and impermeable to what they leave outside, do not split the fate of humans from that of other living beings. It thus creates an unprecedented figure, radical and disturbing, delicate and powerful in undermining our certainty of homo faber (unicus).
Starting from the study of the Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, a modern reworking of classical architecture, the project reinterprets its structure in a key of exchange with the land on which it stands: a Parthenon that returns to the hill and, vice versa, the hill that is architecturalized in order to become Parthenon.
The villa is imagined on a promontory of sedimentary rock, a place of contact between sky, earth and sea. A digital process of topological optimization connects the modernist parallelepiped, separated from the ground, with the stone layers, transforming the corbusian pilotis into real organic roots that respond to the same logic of material minimization and resistance maximization of trees and bones. Through the most advanced technologies for eco-compatibility, starting from the 3D printing of local materials (raw earth and recycled waste brought by the undertow), the natural resources of the Mediterranean ecosystem – including wind, sun, water and biomass – become part of the language and of the architectural figure as crucial parameters of the creative process. The architectural envelope, with its inclinations, openings, projections and setbacks, is therefore modeled taking into account, simultaneously, compositional issues, energy-environmental issues and, above all, those related to biodiversity, the true cornerstone of posthuman design.
The harmonic coexistence of the trilith and the right angle, architectural symbols of anthropocentrism, with the differentiations and irregular topologies of the bodies and the landscape, demonstrates that designing a human space is possible even without detaching from the dynamic and self-organized order of the cosmos. Thus letting the villa, man’s home in nature, hover over the sea.