country house ItalyRealized
STUDIO KOSTER architecture and design
Country house in the Piacenza Hills
The house, built on the Piacenza Hills, is a contemporary interpretation of the stable. In this typical agricultural area, the authentic form of a stable has a long facade and is an example of vernacular architecture.
Although the house includes formal references to regional traditions, the character of its exterior and interior is still consistently modern.
The house is built in a sequence of longitudinally interconnected spaces. The long open axis that crosses the house, with a view that frames the old bell tower of the nearby Pieve, makes the house feel spacious and at the same time allows you to see the surrounding garden.
The house is all on one floor and is divided into a living area and a sleeping area, but thanks to the central axis these areas always remain connected. The central area with a fireplace has the large kitchen and dining area that opens onto the partially covered terrace. The living room has large windows that overlook the valley and a box window that frames nature like a painting. The four bedrooms all have en-suite bathrooms and full height french windows to step directly into the surrounding garden.
The whole project is carried out in the name of sustainability: from the orientation of the building, thanks to which the exposure to the sun was optimized, to the chosen construction materials and the geothermal heating / cooling system.
The client didn’t want the usual brick, exposed stone or plastered walls esthetics as generally used in this area, but a contemporary material that would blend in with the surrounding. For this reason the choise was made to cover the exterior of the house with natural larch wood, as traditionale used for mountain cabins, which gives the building an extra insulation, is maintenance free and gives the house a beautiful grey colour while aging, blending in with its natural surroundings.
The house is built with double masonry in perforated UNI brick with insulation and externally covered with thermo-dried natural larch. When the shutters are closed the building tranforms into a monolithic block, protected from the external elements. The wooden roof structure is covered with Ondapress panels, an innovative and sustainable product developed by Eternit made from natural materials.
The window fixtures are made of varnished fir laminate with high performance structured glass.
The interior finishes create, by using natural materials, a space that is simple, sober and minimal, simular to an Art gallery.
The floors with radiant panel heating are in concrete with a surface finish of quartz-cement creating large stone-like slabs that also extend onto the outdoor terrace.
The floor in the entrance area is realised with tiles of natural handpainted lava stone from the vulcano Etna.
The internal walls and ceilings are finished with a white lime tempera.
The custom made kitchen is achieved by using reclaimed wood.