Catellani & Smith and the renovation of Cascina Nuova 26.01.2021
Cascina Nuova is the ultimate restoration of a traditional rural farmhouse. Nestled in the green countryside of Bergamo, far from the noise of the city, the complex, set around a typical internal courtyard, dates back to the 1700s. It is comprised of a large U-shaped farmhouse and a barn once used for hay and livestock. This second building was restored by architect Edoardo Milesi, founder of the Archos studio in Bergamo. Milesi sought to conserve some of the original architectural features and materials, while reinterpreting some of the less important features in a more current style. Glass and steel, for example, interact with the exposed bricks of the vaulted ceilings and with the external wood, which has been left to oxidise naturally. These choices not only articulate the link to the history and authenticity of the farmhouse, but become examples of the perfect coexistence of past and present. The space, totalling almost 500m2, is comprised of a large living area in dialogue with the kitchen and dining room to create a stunning, light-filled, open space; and an upper floor with three bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.
Alongside the abundant natural light that fills the space are a series of extraordinary lighting creations by Catellani & Smith, such as the dramatic custom-made composition of PostKrisi lights which, suspended from the exquisite wood ceiling with its exposed beams, dominate the entrance of the home. Visible even from outside, through the tall, wide windows of the farmhouse, the lights have been created in different sizes and installed at different heights, adding a sense of movement to the space that leads to the rest of the home.
Composed of fiberglass hemispheres in natural finish, by day PostKrisi transforms into an extremely attractive decorative element, fitting in perfectly to the minimalist, sophisticated setting, with its palette of neutral tones that perfectly complement the warmth of the wood and brick. At nightfall, however, as the natural light fades, PostKrisi ‘paints’ stunning light effects on its surroundings, diffusing the light through the narrow, irregular openings produced by the jagged edge of the shade.
Meanwhile, upstairs, in one of the spacious bedrooms is the subtle beauty of Light Stick CW in the nickel version. The sense of warmth and welcome created by the wood of the structural elements such as the ceiling, floor and the frames of the large windows overlooking the garden, are intensified by the suffused, relaxing glow of a light whose minimalism is its very reason for being.