Casa Ceschi by Traverso Vighy

Giovanni Traverso and Paola Vighy inserted a new skeleton of laminated wood into a building in the historic center of Vicenza.



Casa Ceschi is located in the old town of Vicenza, and as it seeks to establish a bond with the town's historical character, it also strikes a formal and structural equilibrium. The house's site adjacent to the ancient town walls called for a particularly attentive design, where the need to preserve the historical outer shell relates to the necessity of readapting the interior in a functional key. Casa Ceschi's close ties to the urban tissue are reinforced by excavations in the basement which revealed other ancient parts of the town walls dating from the 12th century, which made the restoration project more complex and fascinating.

Traverso Vighy's approach to a renovation is to try to tread lightly, to create as little disturbance on their sites as possible, whether in environmental or, as in this case, architectural ones. These projects are therefore careful orchestrations, where many parts consist of pre-assembled elements, architectural objects maintain a marked structural independence, and whose details interact with their surroundings.

Top image: Details of the bracing and staircase. Above: The architects highlight the irregular texture of the original ancient walls.

Traverso Vighy inserted a new structure within the gutted walls of Casa Ceschi; a skeleton in laminated larch wood which reaches the full height of the building, defining its distribution and establishing a collaborative relationship with the container characterized by an outstanding anti-seismic performance. All these new elements have been prefabricated, which made it possible to rationalize all phases of construction and assembly; at the same time it has required a high level of precision both in design and execution.

A small wood staircase links the office in the basement to the ground floor.

The ground floor and the basement are to be used as professional study. The lighting design, conceived to reduce energy consumption and exploit the natural light, has been particularly attentive in this area, both to make the daylight reach the floor without windows and to enhance the irregular surfaces of the outer walls.

Casa Ceschi's close ties to the urban tissue are reinforced by excavations in the basement which revealed other ancient parts of the town walls dating from the 12th century.

Traverso-Vighy inserted a professional study in the basement of Casa Ceschi.

Considerable attention has also been dedicated to the choice of surface materials, which also contribute to the building's green profile. A special multilayer insulation has been combined with panels in untreated earthenware finished with lime, guaranteeing excellent hygrometric control in the dwelling parts of the interior, while the surface treatments and final touches have been done mainly with larch wood and hemp bricks, with an excellent performance in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation.

The entrance to the study area.

The original shell and all the areas of historical value were restored using traditional techniques, with lime-based liners and protective finishes based on beeswax. The whole building has been designed so as to reduce consumption energy to a minimum, and it has been assigned energy consumption class A.

Giovanni Traverso and Paola Vighy strove to preserve the exterior of the building in front of the Misericordia in Vicenza 'as it was.'

Casa Ceschi, Vicenza
Design team: Giulio Dalla Gassa, Sheerja Iyer, Elena Panza, Valentina Rossetto
Structural design: Life Engineering, Franco Grazioli
Construction Company: Bios Edilizia
Metal structures: I.L.L.M.
Mechanical systems: Rossetto Climatizzazione
Electrical system: Mauro Barbiero
Glass: Vetreria Romagna
Furniture: Ferrodesign, Dimensione Legno
Frames: Carretta Serramenti

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