Time reveals itself in details, between renovation and rigour

The former 19th century farm building Casa Olivi conserves its original compositional characteristics, with living spaces adapted according to an original, minimalist style

The intervention of Swiss architects Markus Wespi and Jérôme de Meuron on an old derelict stone building near TreiaMarche, is hallmarked by measure, synthesis and a palpable sensitivity to traditional themes. In virtue of its surroundings, the project was immediately required to dialogue with the sheer eloquence of the hilly landscapes which frame and constitute the background for the site, hence the name: Casa Olivi.

Restoration involved the conservation and renovation of most of the masonry, the replacement of floors and the roof, along with the re-organisation of interior spaces. In the southern part of the house, a former roofed annex has been replaced by an open loggia, containing a kitchen and large dining table. Adorned by pieces from the collection by José A. Gandía-Blasco, we are pleasantly surprised by the infinity pool. Rigorously white chairs, tables and chaise longues articulate the setting dotted by olive trees and herbal plants.

The northern part of the building, which suffered the most extensive damage following a fire, inspired architects into creating a full-height interior containing a kitchen and dining room, vertically animated by three different white volumes containing the entrance gallery, staircase and a study. In the southern part of the building, repartitions created by the original stone walls have been maintained, re-proposing the effective contrast between the rural spirit of antique walls, new white plastering and design furniture pieces by VitraCassina and Philippe Stark, constituting synthetic details that articulate the continuity offered by the cement colour flooring. The ground floor opens with the lounge with hearth; two upper floors contain four bedrooms and respective rest rooms.

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