The intervention involved two distinct overlapping real estate units that are part of a 14th century castle complex originally built by the Visconti family and then used by the Borromeo family, located in the countryside of Peschiera Borromeo not far from Milan Linate airport.
To bdastudio was asked to create a single home through a complete overhaul of the spaces and the distribution of the real estate unit, the rationalization of the spaces through a more complex functional program.
A further level of design complexity is also derived from the historical constraint of the Soprintendenza delle Belle Arti which, for the purpose of safeguarding the artefact, has limited and addressed some construction principles.
The general intent was to identify the privative spaces (bedrooms and bathroom) on the first floor and create more spatial interpenetration between the living rooms: entrance, kitchen, living room.
However, in addition to the mere implementation of the program (bedrooms, second bathroom, the implementation of the first with shower and bathtub, numerous compartments and niches), the real theme of the project was to tackle both the aesthetic and practical connection between the two levels of the apartment guaranteeing access to the external balcony (now it has become a privative balcony) which previously allowed access to the apartment on the first floor.
In fact, the staircase in its constitution integrates the footboard of the fireplace, creates and serves a double-height area from which the balcony on the first floor (with the function of reading / relaxation corner) can literally be overlooked.
And if in its first section against the wall it is massive and in the same cement resin finish as the floor, the second section is declined in metal with thin thicknesses.
The balcony on the first floor, which becomes a real hallway, partly exposed partly hidden, serves the three bedrooms and the main bathroom: the latter the only room to propose, on the floor and wall, the resin on the ground floor, while a prefinished oak parquet flooring was used for the sleeping area.
The wooden ceilings, with the beautiful and ancient solid wood beams, have been sandblasted and therefore maintained: plasterboard (bathroom and laundry room on the first floor) has been used only where plant passages have been necessary.
The finishes of the walls translate the desire to manifest the contemporary approach towards the ancient building: the new partitions were finished in plaster, while the pre-existing ones were finished with a simple establishment, maintaining the congenital surface irregularities.
The overall aesthetic has favored light and soft colors (natural oak on the floor, white paint and furnishings), in contrast with the concrete gray of the floor and the staircase which is, together with the fireplace, the protagonist of the entire intervention.
The kitchen, realized to bdastudio design, is separated from the dining area by a partially sliding window that does not affect the sought-after spatial continuity but, if necessary, separates the two rooms.
The service bathroom, the laundry room and the relative hallway have been positioned close to the oblique border wall with the other building unit, thus allowing for more regular shapes for the living area.
In the main bathroom, covered in resin, bdastudio designed the sink furniture and the container niche, the edge of the tub, the sink and the mirror.
The tub against the window is separated from the flush shower by a concrete wall.
The works also included new systems: electrical, hydraulic, air conditioning; in particular the heating is on the floor in both levels.