After inheriting a portion of a farm building—used over much of its existence for drying corn—our clients wanted to create a modern living space respectful of the legacy that had been given them. It faced a traditional courtyard on one side and a forest on the other in what, over the centuries, had become a traditional Lombardy landscape.
Subject to numerous conservation constraints, first and foremost the building needed significant structural work to be stabilized. The need to retain traditional elements was embraced, creating a theme on which to build contemporary flourishes and meet modern functional requirements.
We created spatial solutions by reinterpreting the antiquated interior, including an open, fluid second floor—kitchen, dining room, and living room—that revolves around a light-steel staircase between glass walls that leads upstairs. With the exterior, we built textures using traditional corn drying racks to cast shadows and maintained the original stone surfaces whenever possible. Though obviously modern, the project subconsciously pays tribute to its traditions. This excellent example of careful restoration brought us the Claudio Baracca Architecture 1st Prize in 2012.