Emerging Architecture Awards


Marco Castelletti Architetto

Bathing establishment

Lake Segrino, Como, Italy

December 2004
Segrino is one of the small pieces of water at the southern end of Lake Como. Replenished by springs, its remarkably pure calm contents reflect the sky and almost untouched forested slopes (the surrounding area is a nature reserve). So any new building must be undertaken with great care.
Marco Castellettis new bathing establishment on the banks of the little lake is intended to harmonize with its beautiful site and to make as little impact on it as possible. Castelletti has partly dug the L-shaped building into the heavily wooded bank behind, causing two ramps to be made down to the entrance from the cycle track that runs round the lake. Through random slots in the steel gate (which is at the knuckle of the L), you get a vista of grass, water and woods, framed by a timber colonnade along the north-south limb of the L. This terminates in the common room and bar which looks out over the surrounding lawns to wild nature. At right-angles to this range is a similarly colonnaded one that contains changing rooms, Turkish baths and a nursery. The entrance and junction of the two wings is celebrated by a tiny tower made by putting the administration over the ticket office. The little building is locked into the lawn by two elegant decks that lead bathers to the water, but apart from the well-trimmed lawn, there is very little attempt to manipulate the landscape.
And thats just about it. Construction was prefabricated and modular (the planning grid is 5m x 5m). All is in timber, apart from the prefabricated metal fence against the ramps on the south side of the site. The jury was deeply impressed by the simplicity and elegance of the scheme which, with quite slender resources, addresses its magnificent site and prospect gently, and with respect.

Studio di architettura Marco Castelletti architetto, Erba
Project team
Marco Castelletti, Lorena Cavalletti
Filippo Simonetti