A Concrete Hideaway in the Italian Countryside

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By Melissa Dalton
An Italian architecture studio offers an updated take on the vacation cabin.

It's an ideal setting for a getaway: rolling hills dotted with villages and castles in Italy's Oltre Po Pavese region. A young Milanese couple wanted a small vacation home on their 3000-square-meter lot there—and 35a Studio delivered, by way of this 120-square-meter cabin decked out in textural concrete and strategically accented with wood.

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"This holiday home is conceived as an open space on two floors, articulated in a single double-height volume," writes the project architects, Andrea Carmignola and Janko Mauri. "The characteristics of the house are its lofts and the 45-degree rotation of the traditional roof cover, resulting in the creation of four identical, stereometric, and trapezoidal sections." By rotating the roof, the architects created two lofted bedrooms on a mezzanine floor, which overlooks the open living, kitchen, and dining area.  

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For the interior finishes, they juxtaposed two different concrete applications, opting for a rougher, board-formed treatment on the walls and a quartz paste polish on the floors. Wood accents, by way of the trimwork, doors, and cabinetry, provide rich, striking counterpoints. Window and door openings were placed for optimal light and air flow, as well as to foster a generous "relationship with the surrounding landscape."

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According to the architects, the exterior walls further "ensure continuity with the interior," and were troweled in heat-reflective plaster tinted a dark grey, in keeping with the project's "brutalist language."

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Project Credits:

Lead Architects: Andrea Carmignola

Consultants: Polistudio srl, engineer Emilio Panzeri, Alberto Zanotta

Other consultants: Quantity Surveyor Luciano Pintossi 

Constructor: Immobiliare Cardanini s.r.l.

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