Melkan Gursel & Murat Tabanlioglu - Lugano Romantica Residence
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Lugano Romantica Residence

Melkan Gursel & Murat Tabanlioglu

Housing  /  Future
Melkan Gursel & Murat Tabanlioglu
A muse for romantic poets and hideaway for Hollywood faces, the Italian Lakes are the classic, centuries-old retreat for Europeans. The four main lakes are, from west to east, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Orta.
There are the Grande dame hotels, a good selection of five and four- star hotels, suitable for international conferences, incentive trips and meetings, also some boutique hotels, and luckily behind the scenes are quieter, undiscovered places to join the peaceful life.
Located at south of Switzerland, Lugano sits on the border to Italy sharing a common language, climate, geography and culture. Off the third-longest road tunnel in the world, reaching Lugano, feels more like a Mediterranean small city, yet the Alps surrounding the Lake. The texture includes Italian Medieval architecture with Mediterranean flair mixed with Renaissance period buildings, and the Italian villas, orderly in a Swiss way.
A thin strip of land neighbouring the highway was the location of Villa Romantica a whimsical a neo-classical mansion which was previously demolished.
The desired form of making whole, and a viable way of reconnecting with the past, the housing project asked to be developed on the foundations of a discarded project. The challenge was to introduce a new language with the mathematical rules of an already-constructed base, and by retracing memories of a familial building that is long gone.
Studying material and volumetric qualities of the Villa Romantica and mimicking its tri-parted and symmetric volumes, new functions were introduced on the ground and top floors, breaking the symmetry and deforming the mass with a contemporary attitude. The building houses 21 residences on 4 floors, with a restaurant and multi-purpose hall that connects with the promenade along the lake. Blessed by an especially mild climate, the location offer the possibility of going on excursions on foot or by the sea.
The floor plans are flexible and open to easily transform the building program from residential units to a fully-functioning apart-hotel, which in turn, was reflected on the façades as an undisclosed play of variation. The exterior materials nod the neighbouring town of Melide with the use of local stucco and wooden elements in harmony with the shutters.
With the façade composition and scale, the building tries to break the repetitiveness of the modern residences towards a monolithic but varied entity like a single owner villa. Meanwhile, great attention is given to the environmental aspects.


 Lugano, Switzerland
 9172 mq
 Tabanlioglu Architects
 Melkan Gürsel & Murat Tabanlioglu, Cagri Akay, Selcen Karatay, Osman Sümer, Deniz İdil Akay


Tabanlıoğlu Architects is established in 1990 by Murat Tabanlıoğlu and his father Hayati Tabanlıoğlu, and Melkan Gürsel (AIA Int.) joined the group in 1995.

Istanbul-based architectural firm, with its long family tradition, started with Dr. Hayati Tabanlioğlu since 1950’s.

Spanning over six decades, the office demonstrates a professionalism based on rigor and know-how. Searching for new efficiencies in terms of global and environmental needs and developments, the practice is currently engaged in major assignments worldwide, having offices in Ankara, Dubai, Doha and London with 200 employees. Operating mainly in Turkey, MENA and CIS Countries, winner of international awards like RIBA International, Tabanlıoğlu works comprise wide range of building types.

Respecting resources and existing values, office aims high to benefit new technologies, envisioning needs of people of our era of novelties and rapid changes.

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