This striking converted barn is nestled in the green countryside of Bergamo, Lombardy, far from the noise of the city.
Dating back to the 1700s, the barn – once used for hay and livestock – has been restored and modernised. Combining restored vaulted ceilings, columns and brickwork with glass, iron, raw concrete and modern poured floors, the property is now a striking modern home (opens in new tab).
The barn has been restored by architect Edoardo Milesi, founder of the Archos studio (opens in new tab) in Bergamo.
The project is named Cascina Nuova, Cascina referring to a type of rural building traditional of the Lombardy area.
The home spans 500 square meters of interior space (5,382 square feet), and comprises a large living area, open plan kitchen and adjacent dining area on the ground floor, with three ensuite bedrooms upstairs.
This converted barn highlights the original beauty of the historical structure, dramatising the original details by contrasting them with modern design. It's the ultimate restoration of a traditional rural barn and farmhouse.
The home features a dramatic triple height entrance, flooded with natural light. Statement 'PostKrisi' pendant lights by Catellani & Smith (opens in new tab) drop down from the ceiling at different heights, playing with the scale of this open space.
The dramatic custom-made composition is suspended from the wood ceiling beams, dominating the entrance of the home.
The lighting feature is even visible from outside, through the tall, wide windows.
The lights have been created in different sizes and installed at different heights, adding a sense of movement to the space that leads to the rest of the home.
Meanwhile a modern staircase (opens in new tab) climbs up to the first floor, with wooden floorboards placed into the concrete.
The original features from the farmhouse and barn were restored and preserved, including vaulted ceilings, the columns that support them, the oversized and uneven internal heights, and the grain of the brick walls.
Modern materials, fittings, lighting and architectural features were added to provide a dramatic contrast between the old and the new.
The most frequently used materials in this project are exposed bricks and wood exposed to natural oxidation; iron, glass and raw cement were used to contrast and modernise.
Architect Milesi sought to conserve some of the original architectural features and materials, while reinterpreting some of the less important features in a more current style.
Glass and steel, for example, interact with the exposed bricks of the vaulted ceilings and with the external wood, which has been left to oxidise naturally.
The original details, including these curved arches and brick ceiling detail are typical of the farmhouses in this area – but when showcased in this way in a more residential setting, they create a striking home feature.
A change in height zones the separate kitchen and dining area, while keeping an open floor plan and flow of movement and daylight.
It's a stunning, light-filled, open space.
A second staircase (opens in new tab) leads up from next to the dining area. The wooden treads break up the raw concrete and add warmth, complementing the wood ceilings and creating a balance.
Up here, wood flooring flows from the landing down a corridor that leads to the three ensuite bedrooms.
Steps continue up to the master suite.
Each of the bathrooms incorporates the same materials and colour palette as the rest of the home – predominantly wood and concrete.
A greenhouse extension was bolted on to the side of the converted barn for insulation.
There's one at each end of the property.
The glass and steel solar greenhouses have a dual purpose. Visually, they highlight the original exterior wall, where the original building stopped. But they also improve the home's sustainability as these greenhouse spaces retain heat and warm the home during colder months.
The side extension, the modern wood and the greenhouse offer a striking contrast to the 300 year old wall that frames the outside of this property.
The original brick wall was kept intact, but better insulated with wood in order to create a modern home inside.
The converted barn is now highly energy-efficient thanks to integrated solar greenhouses and a geothermal system.
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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