Elle Decor Italia, june 2012
The sea in the countryside
, Rosaria Zucconi.
Very often, the most hidden, special corners of the Bel paese are discovered, loved and inhabited by foreign visitors. That's what happened in Treia, in the Marches, when a globetrotting couple came to Italy and chose to turn a 300 year-old farmhouse on a hilltop into their holiday home.
"I remember our initial brief with Markus Wespi and Jerome de Meuron" enthuses Sophie, the elegant, charming owner. "they listened to us closely. Then we received the first blueprints, and while rather different from what we'd been expecting, they were breath-taking". The Swiss architects are firm believers in architecture that is empathically integrated into its surroundings; they spoke of restoring sensory qualities to the domestic space; understanding values such as silence and the slowing of time; of a relationship with nature that has been lost in today's world; and a simple architecture language capable of creating links between tradition and modernity.
There are few external signs of the renovation, but it is inside that one discovers an unexpected space, featuring severity, slivers of light, textured surfaces, carefully directed views of the landscape. The northern section of the three-storey farmhouse had been partially destroyed by a fire. This ruin was chosen to house the kitchen/dining room. The southern part of the house has a conventional layout, with the living room on the ground floor and four bedrooms with bathrooms on the two upper floors.
The former stable was rebuilt to become a guest house, while the roofed terrace to the south became an open-air kitchen and dining area. The various spaces are linked together by the rectangular swimming pool, which sits raised above ground level, rather like the water troughs found in the countryside.