Seeking Balance


A renowned architectural firm shows how balancing art, nature and construction leads to a seamless transition between contrasting elements.

By Annabella Goshen  |   Photography by Meraner & Hauser

Within the scope of architecture and design, the architectural firm Monovolume, located in Bozen, Italy, has focused on exemplifying creativity combined with intellectuality. Architects Patrik Pedó, Jury Anton Pobitzer along with Associate Partner Verena Dander and a design team have developed both urban and interior designs. These architects met at the University of Innsbruck, in which they collaborated in many projects, resulting in the foundation of their professional careers. Throughout the years, they have gained numerous architecture and sustainability awards.

In their projects, the Monovolume team of architects considers factors such  overlapping uses, spatial sequences and diverse applicability. According to the Monovolume architects, “Architecture and design mean much more than just the creation of a form. It is important to us to question the traditional beliefs and habits and look at them from another point of view in order to create something innovative.”

Tucked in the placid mountains of Obermais in northern Italy is Project M, a residential construction in the center of Meran. The scope of this project was to play with transparent and solid surfaces in order to achieve a balance between a modern home among a natural setting. Without overshadowing any factor, the interior space is able to melt with the outside one, creating a constant flow throughout the structure.

As the flow continues to move throughout the home, the arrangement of the pool and lawns highlights the environment. All of these elements have been intrinsically developed in order to create a complete and natural look. According to this group of architects, “The basic thought which runs throughout the whole project and which represents the label monovolume is an intelligent architecture and an audacious design which react on the environment taking advantage on its characteristics.”

Incorporating nature within this modern home is also achieved through its details. Chopped firewood is exhibited within a column along a hallway of Carrara marble floors. Plants also bring life to the home amidst white lighting and cabinetry.

The motif of staircases also sheds light on the architectural vision of this residential project. Within the garden, a slightly sloping area emulates the internal staircase of the home. White monochromatic staircases with transparent sides allow the stairs to be appreciated outside and within the home. Nonetheless, a private elevator provides comfort and practicality from the first level to the third level of the home. Throughout the garden area and the pool enclave, stairs offer privacy and pave the way towards the meadows.

As the home has been designed to receive sunlight thanks to its tall windows and translucent blinds, its artificial lighting has been carefully placed to showcase emblematic factors. Black chandeliers attract the attention amidst white backgrounds, and black and white artwork captivates guests.

WithDesignin the living room, floor to ceiling bookshelves become part of the design without cluttering the space. The placement of the books, some with the front facing the living room, while others are neatly stacked by size, represents the architectural integrity of the space.

The minimalist kitchen is adjacent to the dining area, creating an inviting and neat feel to the area. The kitchen is a pristine white, with a dark grey countertop and a subtle spider-plant that invites nature in.

Distinctive black and white pairings throughout the home give it an elegant personality. The stark contrast of black colors create a refined finishing touch. The black entry door provides a dramatic flair for the home. The window frames and a few columns are black, which continue to add value to this theme. The master bathroom also includes a dark backsplash, which contrasts the white orchids and cabinetry. The garage has black and white skylines of New York City, perfectly aligned with the home’s color palette.

Lastly, the wine cellar’s geometric shapes, granite island and extensive storage area create a distinctive ambience. As the Bolzen region attracts sommeliers and wine connoisseurs, this home required a wine enclave.

Admiring this architectural creation as a whole, in its synergy between environmental ideas and artistic design motifs, we realize that the balance between art, nature and construction is perfectly achievable.