The barn redevelopment project addresses the issue of the transformation of a disused farm, situated on the route leading out from the historical village centre, into a living space. The new architecture is related to the existing through a dialogue of tradition and contemporary, with the attention to a correct contextualization. The architecture is sober and proposes itself as a new project and, at the same time, as something that fits in with the existing village. The house is on three levels, the entrance is on the ground floor, with services areas and guest rooms overlooking the courtyard. The first floor is a unified space with kitchen, living room and study arranged around the block of the stairs and fireplace. Another room and a “loggia” are located on the second floor.
The facades are made of stone and wood, as the original texture, and have smooth concrete inserts, with a core of reinforced concrete, framing the new openings of the ground floor. The stone corner walls and roof are existed. The large openings are filtered by vertical oak axes, making up a manually moveable screen. The outdoor areas are arranged on three levels, as the natural slope, designed through a smooth concrete wall, that enunciating the theory of contemporary construction in continuity with the context.
Inside, the materials used are contemporary but not-compound and not-industrial. They are: smooth concrete, raw solid oak wood and hand- treated welded steel. The material has a rough appearance, but it is prepared and used not with improvisation and approximation, but instead with extreme accuracy, design and craftmanship. The smooth concrete has a static behaviour similar to that of a traditional brick wall. (There was not the possibility of using reinforced concrete inside because of the conditions of the construction site -the roof was maintained-). The new wall tries to merge with the old stone wall, as if it was its translation in the language of contemporary techniques. Everything is prepared before laying the concrete, switches, doors and window frames…
The implementation is experimental and derives from research through 1:1 scale models. All the oak used (25 cubic meters) was acquired and processed in the same place, so that material would have the same colour, behaviour and the same “patina”. The material used is a key element of this architecture. In this house the atmosphere is achieved through the care and culture of the craft, and materializes in line with the roughness of the place, and it is expressed in the designing of the details, in a homage to craftmanship, to know-how.
Barn Renovation, Soglio, Switzerland, by Designer, for Ruinelli Associati Architetti
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