A building in Cortina d’Ampezzo, which was once a mountain hut and then a museum, has been renovated by its current owners, who’ve also commissioned a piece of street art
From the stairs between the main and upper floors to the furniture in the living area, and the ribbed timber paneling in one of the bedrooms, every space and every piece of furniture in this home in Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the heart of the Belluno Dolomites, has a story to tell. And these stories began two centuries ago with what was originally a mountain hut and is now a private home with its own work of street art.
The building, which in the late 19th century was a mountain hut, became a restaurant in the early 20th century. Later, the same walls enclosed an Elizabethan Museum and, later still, a history museum dedicated to Cortina’s Istituzione delle Regole, a body set up during the Middle Ages to administer local rules and regulations. During Italy’s economic boom, the building was converted into the winter residence of linguist and glottologist Giacomo Devoto and his wife Giulia Falck, who commissioned architect Mario Fiori to renovate their home. Purchased by a family from Bologna in the early 2000s, the house was recently renovated by Angelo Micheli from Milan-based studio De Lucchi. Following the client’s brief, the latest transformation of the historic building took into account all of its previous incarnations with a stratification of the past still visible in the home.
Occupying two levels, the house has the sloping roof, and white stucco and timber board façades typical of the area. Inside, wood paneling with different finishes and colors forms the backdrop to furnishings inspired to Gio Ponti style combined with pieces in the local style. A light-colored wood was chosen for the dining room, harmonizing with the white sideboard and table, and highlighting the bottle green used in the kitchen. This color is also found in the upholstered furniture in the traditional Stube – a kind of parlor, typically heated by a tiled stove – where the wood, with a warmer and more rustic appearance, covers not only the walls but also the floor and ceiling. While there are several artworks on the walls of the living area, the most daring element of the project is hidden away in the master bedroom: a mural created by Bologna graffiti artist Alessandro Ferri, a.k.a. Dado. The street artist was given free rein to create his art on the wall behind the bed, opting for swirling, soft spirals in shades of pastel pink that spell out the name of the owner. This leading figure of Bologna’s underground used this unique opportunity to create a contemporary work that sets up a dialogue with one of the most evocative natural landscapes in the world.
Location: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Belluno, Italy
Architect: Angelo Micheli
Photography by Luca Capuano, courtesy of the owner