Mario Cucinella: the eco-home rechargeable from 100 thousand euros

The house of 100 thousand euros, low-cost, dream home, low environmental impact, is a nice slogan. But I like to think that it is above all a good project. Architecture of many buildings. ”
Mario Cucinella, 48, was born in Palermo, who grew up in Genoa, where he joined the team of Renzo Piano, passed through Paris and now based in Bologna, is not archistar who likes to put the signature on futuristic projects. Notposing as celebrities, in short, like many colleagues. It happens not even find hisstudy, which is the classic open space: an address you’d expect at least a little glamor and instead come to his shop across the courtyard of a company thatsells plumbing. Nor is it one that raises his voice, Cucinella: he likes to speak softly, the tone of the argument. Yet his design for a house to 100 thousand euros is a cry against conformity of many buildings. One idea, he explains, thathas come to “try to make something different in a market that offers only speculative.”



THE HOUSE OF EURO 100THOUSAND was presented the first time in 2007 when subprime mortgages were used to fulfill a dream and they were a nightmare. It seemed an original escape from a market, the Italian one, then the type of housing was quoted euros 263,600 for 100 square meters. “The whole world is built, the living,” explains Cucinella, “consumes and produces much more carbon dioxide transport and industry sectors that are monitored for years and have made a commitment to reduce their pollution. Living on the other hand is still, perhaps because the energy of a building is hidden, has no aesthetic value, then, is snubbed. But if it becomes a creative opportunity, a new form of beauty ? “.
He asked the question and the answers he sought, Cucinella. He who, to paraphrase Mies van der Rohe and his famous less is more, as a personal motto has more with lessmore with little, he surprised his students by making them engage with spaghetti because the fragility of the buildings for them fiventifamiliar concept, almost physical, he leads a team where in addition toarchitects working on projects there are others devoted only to energy research.

Just do some simple math: “The average monthly expenditure of a italian family is of 2461 euros (ISTAT). Of these, 5 percent, then 123 euros, are intended for fuelsand electricity. Only in average electricity consumption per unit of population is about 3000 kWh per year. If the house becomes a small single central power producer, with 70 square feet of roof available for a photovoltaic system, particularly in parts of sunny Italy to get to cover all the needs. ”

“I also analyzed a study by WWF and Makno” Cucinella continues: “Underpower saving, we Italians are second only to Sweden. We are not distracted as they say, if anything, we need a different perspective. That will come whenthere will be a decree recognizing the value of PV at which time we will not have a niche market but a mass movement. People will understand andappreciate the opportunity to pay half the mortgage with a home transformed into a micro power station. ”

Obviously, the families alone can not trigger this revolution. Indeed Cucinella courting the same way manufacturers and local governments: the one asking to reduce the claims without giving up their profits, the other has the opportunity to enhance not only land but entire neighborhoods..

Enhance and upgrade. All without confining people in tenements that still popular today we would say: “My idea is rather to propose a house like Ikea: high design at low cost, accessible to all. I am convinced that democracy is an expression of great design to bring in every day life. We must work in exclusivity. ”
The house from 100 thousand euros has many common areas, is suggested cost sharing group, there is even talk of car sharing, thinking how to removegreen space for parking, and a garden condominium operated by tenants. Try toargue that perhaps the revolution is still far and Mario Cucinella, with a smile, tells you about the paradox of the drill: we have it all at home, use it for ten minutes a month if all goes well. “Use without having is the key to reduce costs and energy waste,” says his “manifesto”.
But things in common are not exactly the house of dream … “My proposal is a measure of desire”, reiterates Cucinella flipping through a catalog: “I give you a box to live.The fact that the clothing makes you different from what I live. I enjoy a world forthe project because in the end there is always someone who tells me:”Architect, this house is also beautiful.” It’s nice to be able to customize, it’s niceto know that the concrete lighter used (and studied with Italcementi) does not detract from privacy: on the contrary is another source of savings because it is made of recycled materials and improves thermal performance by about 25 percent. Above all it is nice to have a home that you are not madly into debt is owed. And when at last in Italy will be obliged to certify the performance, the houses built so they will have a different and more valuable. Will create a new market. ”

How the house is built for 100 thousand euros? The solar thermal and photovoltaic roof covers the total consumption of the building, the glass surfaces make the most of the sun’s heat in winter and provide lots of light, while protection from solar radiation is made possible by horizontal objects and external shielding furniture. There are also a reservoir of rainwater collection, geothermal heat pumps in vertical or groundwater and, if the place is windy, wind turbine generation, beautiful to see, installed in the garden.

In Settimo Torinese had reserved in their zoning area for experimental building, built with the use of renewable technologies. The combination with the project Cucinella, even for the part relating to CO2 emissions to zero, it was inevitable.The seat that was once the Lord Siva, the paint factory run by Primo Levi, a year later the first 50 dwellings will be built.

This is not about waiting for those who will follow the example of Settimo Torinese, but to wait for the viral infection to run its course. Again, Cucinella shows an architectural expert architectures: part del Scientific Committee of Symbola, the foundation that takes care of Italian excellence, collaborating with Legambiente attends the World Bank to ensure the certificate most important to the success of his project , that of economy and profitability leading to the provision of soft loans, followed by companies offering new products for building and working with Italcementi, with a partnership to a new generation of materials, and finally speaks of destruction: “Yes, rottamiamo hideous building.It’s a huge market, a real challenge to economic. ”

And for him, it is understood, is that the economy of the future. “This is not the return to a regionalism architecture,” concludes Cucinella, while she continues to design new buildings: the latter are the CSet Building in Ningbo, China, Ecobuilding in Podgorica in Montenegro and the headquarters of 3M Pioltello .”If anything, we need to better interpret the relationship between buildings and climate. You can transform a building standing from consumer to producer of energy? And what language we will address the construction of a building like this? We will be able to superimpose on the theme of quality to a better and more rational use of energy? “.

So many questions, many answers to be searched together. It ensures the architect, not just architecture.





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