A Floating Iron Stair Cuts Through a Bladesmith’s Workshop Turned Residence in Italy

Architect Carlo Gaspari sensitively transformed the Old World shop with references to the trade and calculated cuts for skylights.

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Project Details:

Location: Abruzzo, Italy

Architect: Carlo Gaspari Architetto / @carlo_gaspari_architetto

Builder: ArchInGeo

Joinery: Dire Legno

Flooring: Spinelli Parquet / @spinelli_parquet

Marble: Scurti Marmi

Lighting: Davide Groppi

Photographer: Iacopo Pasqui / @iacopopasqui

From the Architect: "I was emotionally involved in the renovation of this ancient house in Guardiagrele, a town in the Abruzzo region of Italy, from the beginning. Until the 1950s, the house was owned by a well-known master knife-maker and a generation of apprentices came here to learn the art of knife making. This is where the name Casa del Ferro—the Iron House—comes from, and it is referenced in the interior design through the staircase and other architectural finishes.

"One of the main challenges was bringing natural light into the building to create warm spaces within the house. This was the starting point for the design—we inserted skylights and created a relationship between the first floor and the mezzanine by removing part of floor to create a double-height space.

"The ground floor was once the work space, and we wanted to leave it free of dividing walls with the exception of a curved wall, which acts as a kind of installation and conceals the plumbing fixtures. The first floor is where the living room/kitchen and double bedroom are located. The bathroom was designed as if it were a spa. We kept an old fireplace and inserted a bathtub that is illuminated by the skylight at the top. Going up the iron staircase, you reach a mezzanine floor where the music room and a service bathroom are located. The interior wall surfaces are coated with a rough lime plaster in order to capture natural light, while the floors are made with parquet oak finishes with the exception of the cement resin bathroom surfaces."


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