A Centuries-Old Farmhouse for All Seasons by Jonathan Tuckey Design
A once “jaded”, 200-year-old farmstead in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy has been reimagined by Jonathan Tuckey Design, a UK-based design and architecture practice with an inspired approach to combining old and new. We spoke to the project architect, Elena Aleksandrov, about “elegant appropriation”, a method she’s employed to gently restore the whimsical character of this secluded site.
Cascina (‘farmhouse’ in Italian) consisted of three original stone buildings: a two-story farmhouse, a large barn with a hay loft, and an enclosed, first floor bridge that connected the two. The brief from the client—a fashion designer and naturalist—was simple: “to rediscover the property’s agrarian soul and establish a connection to the beautiful surrounding landscape.”
The interiors were “gloomy” and an ill-conceived ’90s renovation needed unpicking: “The spaces with the best vantage of the panoramic views were underutilized and not well connected,” Elena explains. The ’90s had also had an ill effect on the stone facade, which had been heavily treated, masking the “textural beauty” of the material. “Our challenge was to rediscover [the building’s] character and a relationship with the landscape by opening up the facades, stripping back finishes, and blurring the definition between inside and outside, old and new,” Elena says.