An Old Stone Building in Tuscany Becomes a Modern Hideaway

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By Michele Koh Morollo
A clever renovation transforms an irregularly shaped dwelling in Trequanda, Italy, into a tiny retreat that's bursting with character.

In the small, medieval village of Trequanda in Tuscany, Italy, Casa Effegi is an old stone building that was restored and transformed into a cozy, 367-square-foot countryside retreat. Mantua–based Archiplan Studio conducted the renovation, reconfiguring the floor plan and outdoor areas, employing a deck and built-in benches to connect the interior and exterior spaces while maximizing functionality.

Casa Effegi is located at the border of the Tuscan village of Trequanda, tucked between the town center and the surrounding hilly, rural landscape.

Casa Effegi is located at the border of the Tuscan village of Trequanda, tucked between the town center and the surrounding hilly, rural landscape.

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The height difference between the entrance at the ground level and the internal courtyard presented architects Diego Cisi and Stefano Gorni Silvestrini of Archiplan Studio with the opportunity to create a wooden deck outdoors. 

The height difference between the entrance at the ground level and the internal courtyard presented architects Diego Cisi and Stefano Gorni Silvestrini of Archiplan Studio with the opportunity to create a wooden deck outdoors. 

The living room on the ground floor had an original floor area that follows the form of an imperfect square.

The living room on the ground floor had an original floor area that follows the form of an imperfect square.

"We think the most unique features of the house are related to the attention paid to details and material," says Silvestrini. "The imperfections became opportunities for small and precise interventions, aimed at redefining the space."

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The architects regularized the asymmetry of the longitudinal walls with two lateral, built-in benches that accommodate the spatial discrepancies with their extensions.

The architects regularized the asymmetry of the longitudinal walls with two lateral, built-in benches that accommodate the spatial discrepancies with their extensions.

For the interiors, the architects used mostly black-varnished steel sheets and durmast wood.

For the interiors, the architects used mostly black-varnished steel sheets and durmast wood.

 A wardrobe with wooden doors on the first floor bedroom contains and hides the shower and toilet.  

 A wardrobe with wooden doors on the first floor bedroom contains and hides the shower and toilet.  

Near this wardrobe, just to the side of one of the bedroom windows, a white Vieques pedestal washbasin designed by Patricia Urquiola for Italian brand Agape stands as an isolated element that enhances the visual connectivity between the wash area and the surrounding landscape.  

"The challenges were mainly related to the space's small scale, which meant that we had to to find the right balance between the measurements of the old and new features," says Cisi. 

While using the washbasin, the owner can enjoy outdoor views.  "The 'rarefacted' wooden wall generates a light visual relationship between bedroom and bathroom spaces," says Cisi.

While using the washbasin, the owner can enjoy outdoor views. "The 'rarefacted' wooden wall generates a light visual relationship between bedroom and bathroom spaces," says Cisi.

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Project Credits: 

Architecture: Archiplan Studio 

Cabinetry: Knoll and Vitra 

Washbasin: Agape 

 Bathroom fixtures: CEA

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