<Casa A1 at the Olympic Village, Turin, 2003–2006


The residential building Casa A1 housed the athletes who participated in the 20th Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006. The building is located on the northeastern section of the Olympic village where it stands akin to a chess piece on a chessboard made up of singular buildings as set down in the urban master plan of Steidle + Partner. The building itself has the appearance of bowing slightly to the restructured space of the Mercati Ortofrutticoli all’Ingrosso across the street. This effect results from the top three floors of the building jutting out over the façade, like a lip extending over the edge of a shaft.

The building, where all the nations’ athletes met new friends and made new relationships, was to remain as a regular residential house after the games ended. The design of the house was to reflect this original atmosphere and shape its future usage.

The city planners determined the external dimensions, the four- and five-part support grid as well as the placement of the vertical entrance zones the buildings had to adhere. Within these guidelines the various architects developed their respective houses individually.

Diener & Diener’s design runs contrary to the unambiguous, conventional distribution of internal spaces in accordance with their functions. In doing so, they established a non-hierarchical spatial order that allows the different internal spatial units to be interchanged freely. Within this regular structure, any room can become a living room, a bedroom, or a kitchen. Diener & Diener realized a similar design previously for the harbor in Amsterdam. Like the links on a chain fence, the rooms can change function freely and give each floor an individual order. These linked rooms run lengthwise and crosswise to extend inward to a central loggia and outwards to the building’s cubic exterior shell. The dynamic play of the windows gives this syntax a visual presence in the façade. Tall and flat windows, displaced vertically and horizontally, suspend the regular order of the respective floors to establish an additional order.

Date: 2003—2005
Client: Agenzia Olimpico Torino 2006
Location: Via Giordano Bruno/ Via  Zino Zini, Turin, Italy
Gross Floor Area (GFA): 1.660 m²
Use / Function: 15 apartments from 58 m² up to 108 m²
Urban plan: Steidle & Partner, Studio Camerana, Studio Rosenthal
Structural Engineer: AIA Architectes Ingènieurs Associés
Architect of Record: Studio Camerana, Studio Rosenthal
Landscape Architect: Andra Lichtenstein

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