Some homes are truly the mirror of a philosophy of life in which work is a source of joy and research shared with a team spirit. This is the case of the interesting dwelling-showcase of Paolo Tormena, founder and CEO of Henge, and his companion Isabella Genovese, an architect for the Italian interior design brand with an accent on glamour and exclusivity. The house is a loft, a unified space of about 200 square meters, formerly a granary, with impressive wooden trusses dating back to the 17th century, located in Pieve di Soligo, a historic town north of Treviso.
To transform the old stone, wood and metal structure into a contemporary home with all the comforts, Massimo Castagna, a designer working long-term with Henge, has interpreted the value of an aesthetic based on very high quality of workmanship, in products made on demand starting with careful research on natural materials, treatments and finishes. An approach that permits maximum personalization of forms and details, as in the finest expressions of design culture Made in Italy.
“The house itself chose the new materials and their combinations for us,” the architect Castagna explains. “In total respect for the genius loci, we have focused on the use of other stones, woods and metals, brass and silver, crafted away from any industrial standard to give every detail of the living space an expressive, almost artistic quality that will take on the patina of time in a natural, authentic way.
It was like taking a fascinating voyage into the heart of a land of gentle hills, a source of emotions and beauty, full of history and architecture, a tradition of craftsmanship, sensory impact and colors, ranging from the nuances of Prosecco wine to those of the terracotta roofs, without overlooking the nearby villas of Palladio.
The very long trusses and beams in raw wood of the former granary,” he continues, “suggested the construction of the zone set aside for the bedroom and the bathroom as a ‘box inside a box,’ a new independent block inside the large unified volume, thus conserving the uninterrupted view of the beautiful structural members.”
The complexity of the restructuring, recovering the original features of the space, comes to terms with the small windows that once served as ventilation for the non-residential facility, allowing warm, enveloping light to enter. Their casements and handles have all been redesigned. The elimination of spurious added features, due to successive changes of purpose of the former granary, revealed some of the original stone walls of the construction, which “demanded juxtaposition with new concrete walls,” Castagna explains, “smooth in the central part and rough along the perimeter. As for the furnishings, many have been created precisely for this house – only later have they become products – again with the idea of interacting with the existing enclosure and its personality, without ever overwhelming it, in pursuit of balance, harmony and enhancement of perspectives.”
The eyes embrace a new light, with the welcome of an entrance door made by hand in burnished brass, and a floor in laser-cut wood reassembled like a large mosaic. Suspended magical silver black luminous rings form a polygon in the vast central space for the living area, separated from the bedroom zone by means of a wall in panels of burnished brass.
Without visual seams, the cocoon-like metamorphosis of the site becomes even clearer in the dining-kitchen area at the back. Here a five-meter table in fossil oak communicates – in a successful parallel – with the sculptural and monolithic form of the island kitchen of equal length, made with precious micro-sandblasted Cappuccino stone.
These are the two elements of the domestic landscape that epitomize and amplify an idea of beauty to be shared with friends, in an informal and convivial atmosphere. Which this year has also inspired Yabu Pushelberg and Fausto Salvi, special collaborators for the Henge collections presented at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.
Project Massimo Castagna - Photos courtesy of Henge