Vacation home in an olive grove in Val d'Orcia near the Pieve di Santo Stefano in Cennano.
The new residence was designed and built between 2008-2012. It is located near the Santo Stefano in Cennano church complex. The construction concentrated existing volumes scattered throughout a farm complex concentrating then in a single building. The condition posed by the Landmarks commission was to scrupulously respect the typological, stylistic and construction characteristics of the area’s traditional rural buildings. References were sought in simple rural outbuildings: hut-like structures with minor volumes.
The program was concentrated in a primary horizontal structure, with a pitched and symmetrical roof and two minor elements: one on the west side containing services and another on the east side, located on a slightly lower level, housing the kitchen.
The building, while perceived on three sides as a one-story building, the south side overlooking the valley is on two levels, giving direct access to a basement level, opening onto the landscape and offering a larger scale - predominantly vertical – perception which can only be understood from a greater distance.
The interior space is organized through two sequences that intersect at the entrance. The first crosses the main volume through the kitchen, down to the olive grove while the second longitudinal axis leads to the sleeping area and stairs to the lower level. The transversal sequence visually connects the olive grove , living room and the “pieve.”
The wooden structure of the roof was highlighted as a characteristic element not only in relation to the traditional construction and material aspects, but also spatially , in that it refers to the archaic form of the hut as the primary model . Everything else is white plaster enhancing the geometry and thickness of the walls.
The primary hut form can be read in the living room and in the bedrooms, in the latter through a section that includes the main hallway and the walk-in closets. On the lower level, a living area with fireplace is surrounded by a library implemented through a (simulated) subtraction from the wall mass.