Located in the Piedmont region of Italy, Cascina is the refurbishment of a 200-year-old historic farmstead complex into a home and studio.
The studio, formerly the barn building, is a strong example of the retention of the original agricultural structure whilst inhabiting a new domestic character. The roof structure was formed from local gnarled, unsawn trunks of chestnut, and the purlins and rafters were arranged to support the terracotta roman tiled roof. The intervention reuses the original tiles and keeps the old timber structure in place to retain a sense of the original tectonic simplicity. New layers were inserted between the existing to form a new, fully insulated whole. The two systems work together and allow daylight to filter into the interior via the junction between the structures, highlighting the junction between the old and new fabric. Fine framed glazing were added into the openings as lightweight elements within the solid brick.
Bringing the tonality back to its former agrarian appearance before its recent 1990’s refurbishment, a soft, granular render was applied to the external walls, revealing faces of brick intermittently throughout its surface. The warm texture of the handcrafted plaster continues the textural language internally, and with the slate, timber and brick, recreate a robust and agrarian palette throughout the house.
The upper floors were rearranged to accommodate a more generous ceiling height in the entrance, and the spa occupies the former basement, hidden discreetly behind a wall of timber. The circulation space bridging the barn and farmhouse retains its former external character as a passageway, treated as a continuation of the brick wall and closed at both ends by glazed doors.