Located in the old pantries of Palazzo Vacchini in the historic center of Ascona, three meters from the ancient foundations of the municipal church of Saints Peter and Paul, the cellar appeared as a dilapidated room, once used as a storage place for sausages and cheeses. Considering the materiality of the structure and the natural ventilation, which guarantee a constant climate during the four seasons, the client considered it sensible to set up his own wine cellar, which has a modest annual production (500 b / a) perfect for surface of the place. At the design level, it was decided to clean up the stones that form the barrel vaults of the two rooms in order to preserve the stone essence of the structure, while also reshaping the lightwells that leads to the cobbled alley at ground level. For the flooring, a stone mosaic from the Maggia Valley was laid on a layer of fine gravel, in order to ensure natural transpiration of the soil and easy maintenance if a bottle breaks.
Considering the possibility of flooding of the nearby lake Verbano, massive chestnut wood was used for the lateral shelves and for the central island that held two refrigerators and serves for tastings moments, which with the warmth of its color tone manages to give the cold stone room an atmosphere that pleases and relaxes. The parts inherent to the storage of the older wine bottles were created by means of a two-mesh thermo-painted metal grid that allows you to glimpse the rear wall as well as the labels, in a practical and agile way. While the last two years of production will remain to mature in the bottle in the rear room characterized by a smaller barrel vault. One bottle stacked on top of the other.
In terms of lighting, we decided to always work with warm and adjustable light. The main points are generally two: a central area characterized by 3 pendulum lamps that illuminate the room, and LED bands that run along the top of the nets, which illuminate the vaults of the cellar.
The final result is therefore a simple and light structure that does not overlook the pre-existing historic cellar, limiting the intervention to the essential of the present purpose.