Corte San Pietro Hotel is an abandoned structure that was beautifully restored into a luxury hotel by architect Daniela Amoroso, located in Matera, Italy. Matera is one of the most ancient cities in the world and its territory contains the evidence of human settlements as from the Palaeolithic times.
The Sassi districts, World Heritage site, are the original urban core of the city and, based on natural caves, they have been further extended over the millenniums to be turned into even more complex structures.An intricate network of streets, alleyways, inner courtyards and neighborhoods overlooked by habitations of all sizes, ancient defensive walls, towers, warehouses, wine cellars and cisterns. A never-ending excavated and built system.
In the very heart of the Sassi district, an abandoned structure in disuse dating back to the XVII. C and which surrounds an internal courtyard has been restored and reinvented to be turned into new spaces of a 5,381 square foot (500 square meters) hotel.
Useless architectural contaminations and superfluous layers of pavement have been removed, uncovering the original tufa stonework topped with vaults: the historical structure has been laid bare, as an architectural evidence to confront and dialogue with. In this search for essence, authentic, pure space free from excess, we can recognize the Wabi spirit conceived by the Belgian Axel Vervoordt.
The historical places, full of an attractive identity, harmoniously and precisely combine to the comfort and to the refined and elegant design.
Turned into refined hotel rooms, the former habitations at the ground floor overlook an internal courtyard which, thanks to long and accurate restoration works, is characterized by an original stone pavement called “a chiancarelle”.
Enlightened with candle lights in the evening, the courtyard becomes very cozy and intimate, giving a sense of protection.
The rooms located all around the courtyard are rigorously monochromatic, characterized by chestnut brown shades, from the beige of the stone to the brown of the wood and the weathering steel. Soil, stone pavement and the natural colour of the stone become wall, ceiling and sitting.
The constant search for a connection between the various inner rooms and the landscape is the very base of this combination of local stone, wood and iron in each single room with different proportions according to a linear and essential design. Poor elements usually combined to a country style become light and modern.
The linen curtains of the entrance doors skillfully made by hand let a bright light reach the first area of each room dedicated to sitting/living area and relax whereas the following private areas carved out from the rock face, are enlightened through skylights from the vaults. These small windows, from above, allow beams of light to alternate with large dark intimate areas.
Tufa arches introduce to bathrooms, intimate and cozy spaces featured by niches and cavities now containing large stone bathtubs or showers.
The interior design is based on restored vintage furnishings and typical tools. Nature and timeworn objects perfectly suit each single room through various furnishing elements: old benches in century-old chestnut tree become either doors, shelves or tables, old wooden chairs frames become towel holders, tree logs become stools or bedside tables.
The whole hotel develop horizontally all around an area, the courtyard, characterized by slight differences of level and surrounded by five rooms, the reception hall and the breakfast room, in an ancient typical system which features the whole structure.
Under the hotel, below ground, are located eight bell-shaped cisterns, evidence of the former system for the collection of the rainwaters and excellent example of sustainability. Rainwaters were forwarded through gutters, drainpipes and channelings down to the cisterns connected to the habitations. Cisterns are visitable through narrow inner passages. Going through the changeable silence of a cave and adapting ourselves to these dark environments means to be immersed into another dimension, where it is possible to seize the deepest and ancestral meaning of these places, of this land. It is a place where to feed our souls and feel a strong well-being.
From the entrance in Via B. Buozzi, visitors are greeted as in a private house in the graceful and cozy reception, elegantly furnished, through which it is possible to access the private courtyard.
Photos: PierMario Ruggeri
Casa MT is a modern renovation project centered around the extension of an existing detached house by architect Rocco Borromini, located in Traona, Italy. The lot on which the intervention was, nestled in the mountains of Valtellina Rhaetian, is bordered to the east by the bed of a small stream, bordered to the north and west with the typical terraced vineyards to the south and enjoys a view of the valley and Orobian. The existing building, from traditional architectural composition, is placed in the frieze at the creek.
The intervention of extension consists of two parts. The first, used as a bedroom and bathroom, spread over 60 square meters on two levels, is located upstream of the existing house, and it takes the shape. Regarding the finishing of the interior of this area you have chosen to use an ash termocotto wall and a light marble lightly brushed to the floor and the shower.
The second part, with a surface indicative of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters), is used as a kitchen, pantry, bathroom, dining and living area with a swimming pool and is characterized by a play of volumes floors, fully clad in natural stone, for the most part covered with vegetation and open to the valley through two large windows.
The design idea arises from the need to relate to the pre-existence, from the choice of what dematerialize as possible the volumes causing them to become an integral part of the context, as a result of a major excavation in rock we proceeded to restore the original section terraced making them they themselves of the terraces.
For the flooring of the kitchen, bathroom and to the lining of the pool you chose to use an absolute black granite, sandblasted and brushed while the flooring in the living area and the area adjacent to the pool was used ash termocotto, this’ last choice to leave a strong interconnection between interior and exterior.
Also in this context it was decided to pay particular attention to alignment between interior and exterior through windows completely collected on all four sides, with sections of very thin profiles despite important light.
Photos: Marcello Mariana
This private house in the foothills of northern Italy was designed by Caprioglio Associati Architects for a couple who wished to trade a tiny apartment for a renovated farmhouse in the country. The couple wanted to move out of the city of Asolo to move to the country where they could start a family. They moved a short drive from Asolo to an area called Monfumo, or “silent hills.” After two years of searching and three real estate agents later, they found a crumbling and abandoned farmhouse with an overgrown vineyard, tucked away amidst the rolling hills. They were not able to raise the existing structure due to strict government protections of existing buildings. It would have been faster and cheaper to tear down the existing structure, yet the homeowners liked its character so much, they wanted to keep thinking their home would be the old structure.
After preserving the exterior facade, the interior was given a modern update. Because this was once a farmer’s house to store crops, the rooms were tiny and there were a lot of them. The homeowners wanted a luminous space to capture the beauty of the surrounding environment. They wanted their living areas to be at the very top to make the most of the light. The most defining element of the first floor is a massive central staircase and catwalk system composed of glass and steel. Due to the high volume of the structure, the team decided that the home would be comprised of four floors connected via an elevator accessed from an underground garage and wine cellar.
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Photos: Courtesy of Caprioglio Associati Architects and
This private family villa is an incredible completely transformed country house, the vision of Zanon Architetti Associati, situated in Treviso, Italy. The home experiences new life through the renovation of its interior and expansion of the living room designed in glass and Corten steel. The new volume reflects the natural landscape through wide windows and gives the impression of being outdoors as the living room becomes one with the countryside.
Surrounded by greenery and protected by a romantic curtain of ivy, the building has found new life in the interior renovation and expansion of the area, thanks to the juxtaposition of a structure in a contemporary style with large floor to ceiling windows. The home seems to blend with the surrounding environment, creating a sort of indoor garden that communicates with the interior.
The overall result is a family home of timeless elegance , the interior – spacious and airy – are furnished to a very sober with iconic objects like the Lounge Chair and Ottoman Eames produced by Vitra, the Marshmallow chair for Vitra for George Nelson and the Arco floor lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos. In addition to these are works of art that lends a strong personality to the rooms.
Photos: Paolo Belvedere
This industrial style renovation has been carried out by designer Paola Navone, who transformed a 200-year-old factory into an inviting home in the ancient town of Spello, in east central Umbria, Italy. The designer was given a brief to turn an abandoned tobacco-drying plant that started life almost two centuries ago as a silkworm farm into a cosseting, appealing home.
Villa Como project was an internal and external renovation of the lot and its interior design envisioned by Studio Marco Piva, located on beautiful Como Lake, Italy. The construction of the 6,458 square foot (600 square meters) property was really degraded and had been completely abandoned. The concept design was developed based on a contemporary design style and seeking for alternatives to guarantee that the project is developed according to client’s requests and objectives of a villa with an opulent atmosphere, comfort and tranquility. The aim of this concept design was to create harmonization between residence and nature.
The key element of the project has been to develop a continuity between the formal structure and its framework, privileging light colors and natural materials in harmony with the surrounding green areas, for a pleasant, cozy and elegant global scene. A plain project, elegant, in harmony with nature and the environment that, in the same way, creates harmony and wellbeing itself. A welcoming, pleasant, scenic and amazing place, where to feel good with themselves, family or friends.
Photos: Andrea Martiradonna
The Jesolo Lido Pool Villa is the first of a development for 9 single family residences by JM Architecture, located in the beach town of Jesolo Lido, Italy. The villa is a custom designed prefabricated wood structure, and it was built and furnished in only 6 months. Energy-saving high standards have been applied to the shell to guarantee maximum comfort and almost zero costs throughout the four seasons. The building features wood structures as a flexible and anti-seismic system which also avoids thermal bridges. The 31 centimeters of perimeter insulation, argon-gas insulated glass facades, 10 kw of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof and the interior / exterior led light fixtures co-operate in making a technologically contemporary building. Because of the small dimensions of the plot, the design goal has been directed in leaving as much open space as possible.
The indoor living area has transparent sides which opens towards two different-sized patios. The largest one, to the west, features a long swimming pool, which takes the entire length of the space, and two planted square inserts. An olive tree is the main three-dimensional element in the patio and it’s placed next to the staircase which leads to the underground level, where the storage and technical rooms are located.
The smaller patio, to the east, also features two planted inserts with another olive tree to counter balance the other side. The outdoor areas, as a client’s main request, needed to be low maintenance, so most of the surface was paved and the plants in the inserts where selected in order to live with the least care possible. The 4-meter roof overhang to the west allows to have enough shading during the hot summer months and allows to place a covered outdoor seating and dining areas.
Interiors are custom designed with typical JMA solutions, like audio/video walls, custom designed solid-surface kitchen, motorized roller shades which disappear into the dropped ceiling for maximum continuity of indoor-outdoor areas, integrated indirect lighting and home automated electrical system.
The radiant floor heating system is powered with an electric heat pump which takes the energy from the photovoltaic panels. The air-conditioning system is fully integrated in the dropped ceiling with linear diffusers and hidden intakes. As always for JMA, the pursuit of simplicity and linear solutions represented a large part of the design work.
Photos: Jacopo Mascheroni
Soldati House was designed by architect Victor Vasilev as a specific request by the customer to create a functional and contemporary environment in a house built in the 90s in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy. The house three story dwelling had to accommodate the life of a family of four, without sacrificing the convenience offered by the world today. The idea comes from a clear choice: to create a space in which to unite under the leadership of geometry, material, light and functions, taking care of every detail, so that the final result is characterized by a visual unity.
Here is a description of the project from the architects: The house was built in the 1990ies, without design ambitions. The owners wanted the interior to look ‘Milanese’, i.e. ‘ultramodern’. I decided on a complete overhaul, appreciating the space potential – 4,704 square feet (530 square meters) on three floors. This is not a weekend retreat but a family house and the aim was to create a contemporary domestic environment functional in every aspect.
Travertine marble and Indonesian teak were chosen for the material palette. The design is based on the composition of simple square volumes. The custom-made furniture is integrated in the architecture of the house. A few ‘classical’ design pieces enrich the interior.
The final result is achieved by the interplay of space, materials, custom-made furniture and indirect lighting. It gives out the warm, white glow, which softens the interior.
The living area is focused on the ground floor. The rooms of the living, dining and kitchen flow into one another seamlessly.
The master bedroom, the children’s bedrooms and a guest bedroom are on the first floor. The low bench in the master bedroom serves as a visual link with the bathroom, thus avoiding distinctly divided spaces. The black washbasin is designed to hide the mixer taps.
The family wanted a spa area, so the basement is devoted to relaxation. Here you will find the area audio & video and wellness space. A sauna, a big bathtub for four and a massage area were constructed in the basement. A home cinema room with a folding screen was added.
Clients often live in fear of being ‘ forced ‘ to give up their way of life to be able to get into the ‘ temple of domestic architecture ‘. I believe that the success of the project lies in the fact that we have found functional and aesthetic solutions to all the needs that may last over time.
Photos: Adriano Pecchio Photography
Casa F/H is a stunning apartment designed by Studiomobile, situated on the upper floor of a construction built in the 60s in San Donà di Piave, near Venice, Italy. The penthouse flat faces a huge south oriented terrace which offers a beautiful view of the river Piave beyond the tree-tops. The refurbishment completely upgraded the technological systems in terms of energy efficiency and thermal comfort, as well as completely redesigned the spaces.
The living was designed as an open space facing directly the outside terrace, which in summer becomes an extension of the sitting room. Here the different environments are marked by the furniture dividing functional areas without creating any boundaries. The huge wardrobe encloses the living room and it is both a closet, a technical piece of furniture, a fireplace and a bookshelf, also embracing the large sliding door.
The uniformity of the element, in hardwood lacquered white, is interrupted by the free form doors, by the colored niches and by the natural iron inserts creating graphic details. The huge wardrobe, as well as the couch and the kitchen, were custom designed and produced by local handcrafts. This allows the furniture to merge with architecture and to become one. The coach is enclosed by two columns of raw concrete producing two different ways of living the space. The kitchen furniture acts as a screen concealing the cooking area through two glass houses, filtering out the light and the gaze with flowers and aromatic plants.
The penthouse flat was entirely cobbled with oak wood boards which acts as a trait d’union, linking the living with the sleeping area. The same cladding was used in the main bathroom where wood boards face the tub, and in the master bedroom where it becomes the structure of the bad, of the night table and of the walk-in closet.
Photos: Giulio Boem
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