‘Essential necessity’ in Ruinelli's redevelopment of an old stable

The project alchemy created by few elements in a clear and distinct harmony

by Malcolm Clark
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The redevelopment of a stable in Soglio, in Switzerland designed by studioRuinelli Associati, has won a host of awards in just two years, including the honourable mention for architectural and constructive elements of biennial international prize for architecture “Barbara Cappochin” 2011 and the gold mention at the Best Architect Award 2012.

The project tackles the question of redeveloping a disused rural building located in the old part of the town and of transforming it into a residential dwelling. The decision to preserve the original volume with the stone corner walls and the stone roof tiles, denotes careful attention to considering its position in the urban fabric and to interpreting this building as an important sign for understanding the developments of the village of Soglio.

The stable built in the second half of the 19th century was the last building along with the shepherd's house as you leave the old part of the village and head towards the mountains. The project investigates the possibility of continuing the existing construction using contemporary methods and materials capable of assuming the identity of the place in a dialogue between modernness and tradition, without any nostalgia for the past and in this case for the smell of the stable!

The care taken over the correct location creates a simple architecture which is new but at the same time perfectly in keeping with the village. The house covers three levels, the entrance is on the ground floor, with the service areas and guest rooms overlooking the courtyard. The first floor is open plan with a kitchen, living room and study arranged around the staircase and fireplace. Upstairs there is another room and the loggia.

The façades are stone and wood, like the original texture and have smooth concrete inserts with a reinforced concrete core framing the new windows on the ground floor. Vertical oak beams create a screen which can be moved manually, a filter for the light which inside creates variable shades through the large windows originally divided by an oak cross.

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    Redevelopment of a barn 340

    Redevelopment of a barn

    Soglio / Switzerland / 2009