The Crete Senesi region of Tuscany, south of Siena, is a land of rolling hills and home to Podere Ascianello, a farm complex that can trace its origins to 18th century wheat farming and then, in the 19th century, to tobacco and animal rearing. The complex, made up of a series of houses and farm buildings, fell into disuse but has been revamped to become a private home.
The project by Pietro del Vaglio architecture practice has brought unity to the whole, merging the past and present through the association of traditional materials and modern technology and the careful balancing of individual details and the overall design. The interior-exterior dynamics are fundamental, using water as a unifying element between spaces and to eliminate borders. The pool starts inside the house, but develops fully in the area in front to become a central feature, a place for relaxing and socialising. The relationship between the landscape and the building is clearly defined and “mediated” through the choice of materials and the many different shapes of the external doors and windows.
The door and window frames were critical to this, as they define the openings in the house. The designers went for the versatility of Astec’s ABX® architectural bronze, partly because this meant the frames for all the doors and windows could be custom made. The burnished patina finish of the architectural bronze fits perfectly with the stone and brick walls, while the thinness leaves plenty of room for the glazing. This helps lighten the external appearance of the building and opens up the views of the surrounding landscape from the inside. The W65 and K85 extruded profiles, with thermal breaks, provide excellent sound and heating insulation, thus improving interior comfort while saving energy.