top of page

Italian Observatory Houses

GW Architecture Inc. is proud to showcase another design competition submission in Italy!


The Observatory Houses intervention, located adjacent to the Medieval Castle of Raccascalegna, encourages a variety or ways to explore the enchanting skies and landscape that surrounds it. The proposed design solution aims to create an exclusive experience for visitors, as the joining of architecture, the heavens, and nature becomes a tangible adventure. The space promotes the act of immersing oneself in nature, history, and gathering together to share in the experience, inviting raw social connections while indulging in the surrounding scenery.

The design intervention intends to enhance the experience of the fortress while respecting the existing castle, thus maintaining the the history of the site, while taking advantage of the spiritual setting. The history of towns growing up around a castle for protection, as displayed by Roccascalegna, was explored as a source of inspiration, resulting in street-like pathways of shelters for visitors.


Visitors are immersed in a unique relationship with the heavens and the landscape through multiple avenues. Guests arrive up the pathway passing the observatory houses. Each house ensures dramatic views to the sky and the surrounding landscape. The structures maintain a connection to Roccascalegna as they were derived by the forms of the buildings witnessed within the town. The observatory houses have been situated in a way that maintains the views when exploring the existing castle.

The use of glass throughout the tourist facilities allows for maximum transparency, granting visitors to experience a saturated adventure. The abundant use of glass allows the observatory cabins and apartments to offer expansive views to contemplate the curious skies. The angled roof and skylight establish views to the sky and the existing ruin. The observatory houses and villa will provide visitors wit a luxury experience. Social and wellness areas are located on the main floor, including a walk out pool with covered balcony. Sleeping spaces are provided on the second floor to maximum views of the skies while one flutters into a dreamlike state. A second rooftop balcony is included, highlighting the importance of uninterrupted contact with the stars, silences, and landscapes that surround. The skylounge utilizes the southeast corner of the ruin, letting curiosity and observations guide the visitors experience.

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page