The house is part of a 1970s brick terrace in northwest London. The block is arranged on an inverted “front” situation, where the main access is from a central private court and the “rear” gardens face the leafy main road a short walk from Primrose Hill. No interventions on the plan or its fabric had been made in more than four decades, and now it had to be a home for a young couple and their children.
Each level was spatially intervened in a different way: the garage and small rooms on the ground floor were integrated into one single, continuous space linking front to back and extending into the garden; the first floor was divided to create a room for guests or study; the top floor with the bedrooms went through some minor reform to simplify the plan. The lack of conventional room structure on the ground floor allows it to be the focus of family life throughout the day, determined not by thresholds, but by easily reconfigurable furniture, with all the fixed elements (kitchen, storage, built-in seats) lining one of the party walls and a meandering figure of services on the other. Two wide skylights bring light to the deep plan, one above the framed staircase and one in the rear extension where the unlined brick and timber fabric are modelled by sunlight throughout the day.
DF__DC is an architecture and urban design office concerned with the project of space as an interdisciplinary practice.
As a group, we are interested in how scales - from the patterns of the urban to the craftsmanship of detail - interconnect and inform each other. In our work, the investigation of human-scale atmospheres is crucial. To achieve this, we collaborate with a talented network of artists, designers and makers, relying on their individual abilities and flexibility towards greater endeavors.
We operate in a collaborative structure from our offices in London and Lugano (CH) and with ongoing projects in the UK, Switzerland, Mexico, France, Italy and Mozambique. We engage in academic research & teaching as part of our approach to practice.
DF__DC architects is an RIBA chartered practice.
Dario Franchini, USI-AAM / OTIA / SIA / REG A
Diego Calderon, USI-AAM / RIBA / ARB
Paolo Crippa, Mathias Broniatowski, Federica Zoboli, Victor Perlheden, Matteo Fiorani, Veronica Casey Fierro, Felix Everard
42 Theobalds Rd
London WC1X 8NW
+44 (0)20 7405 9361
Via Besso 5
+41 91 950 98 70
General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the moment we are not looking for new employees, but we accept spontaneous applications with a digital portfolio (3mb maximum) in pdf-format at email@example.com (or hardcopy to the attention of HR). We are an equal opportunities employer.
All rights reserved. No material from this website may be reproduced, used in any form and/or published without prior written permission from DF__DC. If you have any question, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dario and Diego are Studio leaders at Kingston University, running Studio 2.5 since 2018.
2019_Tec de Monterrey, Guadalajara (MX)
2017_Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio (CH)
2016_Central St. Martins
2013_Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio (CH)
Morris +Company, AZPML, Peter Feeny Architects, OMMX, Ammann Architekten, Collective Urban Strategies, Anton & Ghiggi Landschaft Architektur, Officina del Paesaggio, AF Consult, Measur, Conisbee, WMM, Momentum Structural Engineers, Hardman Structural Engineers, P3R, Pianifica, Mawi, AM Structural Design, Appleyard & Trew, Gabriel J. Villasmil, Mara Scalia, Mammutlab, Ver Estudio, Rory Gardiner, Simone Bossi, Gautier Houba, Gui Rebelo
Silvia Passiglia, Gianfranco Panza, Maria Teresa Albano, Dylan Rivas, Sebastian Alvarez, Yuet Ming Wong, Diego Palomares Gaspar, Martina Solcà, Francisca Aires Mateus, Priya Kana, Sherry Ye, Luca Pederzini, Davide Rossi, Ana-Maria Marin, Giulia Bisi, Nicola Andreani, Veronica Marzorati, Silke Schnidrig, Laura Vilalta Ibanez, Carlotta Sartorio, Carmen Cabanas, Ivan Ginzburg, Belen del Yerro, Radina Todorova, Chris Painter, Clausen Buchartts, Salvador Borras i Mascarell, Nicole Vairetti, Laura Fuoco, Nuria Casais, Francesco Magni, Patrizio Patà, Lorenzo Rossettini, Kostas Biliunas
The Concrete Villa is a single house on the Comano hills, a small village north of Lugano in Switzerland. The plot was previously occupied by vineyards and characterised by an elongated trapezoid form, which determines the volume.
With the interesting views towards the east and west, but with the constraint of having adjacent houses in close proximity toward the north and south, the house is conceived as in inhabited wall. In order to avoid the effect of an excessively long and closed volume but also ensuring a level of privacy, the flank elevations are articulated by a series of deep rectangular fins.
The material of reference used is grey reinforced concrete, declensed in various ways depending on the case. The in-situ cast fins are alternated with infill elements with the old technique of “strollato” used in Lombard villas: a mix of pebbles and cement handsplatted with a trowel and later sanded, thus combining old traditions and new construction techniques.
PUBLIC LECTURE AND WORKSHOP - MEXICO
DF_DC have been invited to lead a workshop to the Tecnologico de Monterrey School of Architecture in Guadalajara, Mexico between the 10th and 12th of April, along with a public lecture titled Tensions.
Dario and Diego delivered a lecture as parts of the K.Arch Talks series at Kingston University, revolving around a series of thematic binomials that influence or determine the work of the practice. A register podcast will be available soon. Thank you to the Architecture Soci
Diego Calderon of DF_DC and Thom Brisco of Alder Brisco collaborated with a joint piece for the Camaradas exhibition at the Menier Gallery in London. The piece is a buff plaster cast of Oxford s conjoined quadrangle colleges, overlaid on casts of the green Cantera volcanic stone-built urban blocks that hold Oaxaca s irregular Zocalo as abstract pieces that interlock in a casual series.
GUEST CRITS AT THE CASS, STUDIO 02
Dario and Diego were invited a guest critics to the undergrad Studio 02 at The Cass, who are focusing their research and projects in the Portuguese Alentejo in a parallel programme to our Kingston University Studio Lisbon Project. Thanks to Charlotte and Colin for the invitation.
DF_DC AT MORRIS +COMPANY, PUBLIC TALK
We have presented the work approach of our practice through the image of temporary constellations at Morris+Company. Thank you to Joe Morris and the team for the kind invitation.
Dario & Diego presented 10 books of architecture (directly or indirectly) at Kingston University as part of the Register Lunchtime series, intended to be a cross-fertilisation of ideas between Studio leaders.
The Leaning Yucca House is an elegant extension and re-invention of a Victorian semi-detached home in northwest London. Having been previously broken up into flats, the current occupants, a young family, wanted the internal spaces reimagined as one living area with greater connection to the garden. DF_DC’s approach was to extend the house to the rear and strip out the outdated layers and finishes that had accumulated over time. This allowed them to integrate the ground floor kitchen and dining rooms into a single, open space for them to grow into and use as they please.
The distinct materials of Leaning Yucca House were kept to a choice of two complementary wood interventions. A continuous joinery element in oak incorporating the kitchen, storage and staircase creates a unified design and visual coherence to one side. While the rear extension and side passage are clad in red cedar – quietly discernible from the aged brown brick façade – marking each window with a projecting hardwood fin. The material palette is completed by light concrete floors, a black steel frame and whitewashed brick around chimney breasts. A stronger connection to the garden was established through the installation of two sets of french doors.
Il nuovo Palazzo del Cinema di Locarno, progettato dagli Architetti AZPML (Alejandro Zaera-Polo e Maider Llaguno - Londra) + DF_DC è nato dalla trasformazione dell’edificio delle vecchie scuole comunali, in un nuovo polo dell’audiovisivo, contendendo tre sale cinema, gli uffici del Film Festival, la scuola specializzata superiore CISA, una sala multiuso e ulteriori attività complementari al mondo del cinema.
Per motivi ecologici, urbanistici e di memoria storica il progetto ha previsto il mantenimento dell‘edificio trasformandolo tramite una serie di interventi puntuali, seguendo la logica di una stratificazione storica già avvenuta nel passato. L’edificio storico è stato risanato, mantenendone non soltanto la facciata esterna ma anche tutta la struttura interna. Sono state demolite unicamente due pareti interne della corte, che è stata allargata per far posto alle sale cinema. Le attività amministrative e scolastiche sono state invece disposte nelle due ali laterali. Nella sopraelevazione sono invece stati poste le altre funzioni comuni. Le facciate storiche sono state risanate in modo conservativo, mentre l‘ampliamento ha mantenuto il suo carattere contemporaneo tramite una facciata cinetica dorata, che grazie al movimento del vento richiama la presenza del “pardo” all’interno dello stabile.
The project comprises the masterplan, architecture and landscape design of a small hillside retreat above Lake Chapala in western Mexico, providing short stay accommodation away from the city and offering an austere experience of the landscape and magnificent weather.
Eleven cabins are laid out along narrow paths in the landscape look for views of the lake while negotiating their position with the steep topography. A cluster of small buildings at the point of arrival contain the reception and technical spaces, and a larger terraced cluster houses the restaurant and pool through a series of canopies and basins.
The cabins are broken into three reduced-size components based on the general activities that they host: seating, washing and sleeping. These modules are articulated to allow a certain opening up of views and are linked by a central external space to which the three internal spaces open under maximum privacy. The cabins are suspended from a framework made of angled masonry columns and a rim beam from which the lightweight timber cabins are suspended, with a thin overhanging metal roof to provide a shade.