On Lake Maggiore the tradition of building roofs with rye straw goes back to the Middle Ages and survived till the late 1930’s, when both the raw materials and skilled labour became difficult to find . Designing this contemporary single family dwelling, we took inspiration from local tradiltional building techniques, though we had to track down the raw materials in Romania and the few remaining experienced craftsmen 500 km away.
The roof structure has a primary and secondary wood framework supporting planking, on which the water reed faggots are fastened. About 60 cm thick, this reed roof guarantees an excellent natural insulation, is fully waterproof and needs very little upkeep.
Photos: Giuseppe Albera and Nicolas Monti