Villa Eden by David Chipperfield Architects

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Location : Gardone Riviera, Italie

Date: 2015
Gross floor area: 2,680 m²

Client: Villa Eden Gardone GmbH

Design: Christoph Felger – Partner
Project management: Harald Müller – Partner
Project architects: Franziska Rusch, Thomas Benk, Eberhard Veit, Peter von Matuschka
Landscape architect: Enea Outside In
Structural engineer: Ingenieurteam Bergmeister GmbH
Services engineer: Energytech GmbH
Quantity surveyor: Ingenieurteam Bergmeister GmbH
Photography: David Chipperfield Architects


The western shore of Lake Garda is characterised by its mild climate and richly cultivated landscape. David Chipperfield Architects has built two villas on the hillside looking over the resort town of Gardone Riviera. Both buildings are carefully inserted into the landscape with its olive groves and cypress trees. Their volumes are divided into individual one or two storey structures, which are offset to one another following the topography of the hillside.

The typology of the villas interprets the architecture of the limonaias, which were built for the cultivation of lemons and are historically typical for the area. These buildings characterised the western shore of Lake Garda with their pergola-like structures up until the end of the 19th century. With reference to the limonaias, the building volumes are each framed by three solid exterior walls made of natural stone masonry and built up on a plinth of the same material. The main elevation facing the valley opens up towards the Mediterranean landscape with room-height windows. Pergolas with slim columns are placed in front of the volumes, echoing the rhythm of the surrounding olive groves. The pergolas provide protection from the sun and extend the interior into a protected outdoor space, which leads to further terraces with outdoor pools.

The materials are influenced by the region. The stone for the masonry and terraces comes from local quarries. The light roof structure of the pergolas and the window frames are crafted from wood, providing a contrast to the stone. The inner organisation of the buildings further reflects the surroundings. While the auxiliary rooms are located in the rear areas, the living and bedrooms are situated at the front, providing panoramic vistas of the lake and the surrounding landscape. The two buildings were constructed in the context of a larger project, encompassing seven villas, a hotel and an apartment building designed by four architectural practices.


 David Chipperfield Architects




David Chipperfield


“We build to protect ourselves from nature. Buildings neutralise nature. They help us to stay dry, cool and warm. Having achieved this protected condition we attempt to reintroduce, in a controlled way, the elements that we seek shelter from, for it is these elements that give significance to our life: a warm ray of light, a cool breeze, a view of the garden.“

David Chipperfield, “Theoretical Practice”, London 1994, Page 51

Chipperfield was trained by Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. Since 1984 he is self-employed. He now maintains offices in London, Berlin and Milan, and a representative office in Shanghai.

Chipperfield was the only British architect who was shortlisted to receive the contract to design the Tate modern museum in London. He designed the Figge Art Museum in Davenport and the award-winning River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames with green oak cladding, concrete and glass. Many of his buildings are, however, abroad, particularly in Japan and Germany.

In January 2006 in Marbach am Neckar he handed over the Museum of Modern Literature as part of the German literature archive in Marbach.

In 2007 he was awarded the Stirling Prize for it. In 2007 he was awarded the contract for the implementation of his award-winning design of the new building of the Museum Folkwang in Essen.

He is a visiting professor at the London College of the Arts, a professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and holds the Mies van der Rohe Chair at the Escola Tecnica Superior‚ Arquitectura in Barcelona.


David Chipperfield Architects


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