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Casa S

An Unexpected Beauty

Milanese Architects Office

Casa S

On occasion, provincial Italy reserves unexpected surprises. A complex web of high-density urbanization and large stretches of productive, arable land dotted with apparently random clusters of houses, the provinces are also home to Italy’s myriad small and medium sized businesses whose sometimes unchecked growth has disrupted a countryside molded by nature and age-old farming practices. It is here, however, that examples of architectural excellence are sometimes to be found, the work of contemporary architects who have succeeded in turning their research into a built reality. A native of Italy’s northeast region of Veneto, Erich Milanese, founder of Milanese Architects Office, studied in Venice before specializing in light as a design tool, a skill that is now an integral part of his projects, impacting the way he uses materials. Over his twenty-year career, Milanese first made his name in the luxury hotel sector, after which, thanks to international briefs in places like China and Saudi Arabia, he positioned himself at the top-end of the market with a distinctive signature style made up of meticulous attention to detail in sleek forms sculptured by light. The house described here stands in a contemporary setting on the Veneto plain. Although still defined as “rural”, the area has undergone relentless change since the end of the First World War. The result is one of uninspiring sameness, a countryside whose links with the distinctive historical features of this particular part of Italy have largely been wiped out by a total disregard for local building typologies and a failure to impose any kind of urban spatial hierarchy. It was in one such little town, Santa Lucia di Piave - a bland horizontal stretch of unprepossessing buildings - that Erich Milanese placed this distinctive building, which makes no attempt to meld into the landscape, but rather stands out, detached from its surroundings. As well as serving a functional purpose, the...

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