Hemp and lime studio in Italy highlights sustainable living

Architects Cosimo Terlizzi and partner Damien Modolo set up a llamame-style hemp and lime building art studio in southern Italy. It combines traditional building style from the Valle d’Itria region and Alto Salento with modern, sustainable materials and energy management systems. The team designed the studio to reflect the owners’ love of both police countryside and sustainable living.

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Lamia Santolina has a traditional farmer’s building style that resembles a thick white box. The building is wider at the base and tapers to the roof, with wide windows on each side set against the heavy whitewashed walls. The building uses natural and recyclable materials to insulate and seal the structure. The purpose of this design has traditionally been to make the most of natural daylight without letting too much direct sunlight into the windows, keeping the building cool during the hot Italian summer.

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A room with a desk and a person sitting at the desk with a dog on the floor and floor-to-ceiling windows on the right

The walls and ceiling panels are manufactured by Messapia Style, an ethical construction company and champion of the hemp and lime industry in Italy. Lime and hemp construction is gaining popularity across Europe because the non-toxic mixture has a high heat sealing capacity (thermal conductivity: 0.056 W/mK), controls indoor moisture levels and absorbs carbon dioxide from the environment.

The structure of the building is made of metal beams

The internal stability is created by a modular iron structure produced by the Scaff system. This has been adapted to accommodate the ancient incannucciato cane roof technique. Local craftsmen placed locally grown reeds on top to create mats that rest on steel joists. Then a 25 cm layer of hemp and lime mixture was placed over the sticks to seal and insulate the roof.

Aerial view of a white building surrounded by scattered trees around it

Solar energy and rainwater gather around this eco-friendly studio. The solar system must provide enough electricity for the many surrounding structures. Rainwater will be used to irrigate the surrounding olive grove.

+ Yas Engineering

Images via YAS Architecture

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