When speaking of Italy, visions of lush green countrysides, cobblestone streets, and expansive wineries come to mind — hardly ever do we associate the European country with sprawling, dense forestry. Architect Andreas Gruber, on the other hand, has allocated an idyllic plot of spruce-covered soil just shy of the nation’s Dolomite mountain range for his most recent project, the Refugee Meranza.
Refugee Meranza is an inviting, multi-faceted home located near South Tyrol. Placed atop a famed local hiking area known as “Gitschberg,” the dwelling was constructed primarily for summertime use, offering a perfect space for rest, relaxation, and reflection. A living and sleeping area gives way to the home’s weather-protected outdoor terrace, with each of the three units seemingly becoming connected at their vertices. However, this is not the case. Each respective piece of the home was designed autonomously, representing a connection with nature and seeking to impart as little influence as possible on the surrounding area. Brushed spruce wood and a naturally forested scent ruminate throughout the interior of each space, while a private spa area, spiraling staircase, and cozy fireplace serve to warm residents in the colder months.