Located right in the heart of a village near Como, a 15th-century courtyard building that had been neglected for years was entirely restored with a masterful and elegant renovation project.
The first section of this building was converted into a young couple’s home, measuring approximately 100 square metres, spread out on two levels.
The renovation work radically changed the original plan of the ground floor, which included a long corridor connecting the various rooms.
The entrance now leads straight into a spacious living room, which is connected to the kitchen and dining room area through two large portals retaining their original jambs.
On the second floor, which houses the sleeping area, the original layout was maintained as well as the size of the rooms.
During the renovation works, the layout of an open hearth was revealed on the load-bearing wall of the ground floor. The exact position of the old chimney was then identified and, after thorough inspection and cleaning, it was found to be still perfectly usable.
The owners decided to install a modern double-sided fireplace in the spot where the old hearth used to be.
With its double glass at the front and back, the warm atmosphere of the fire can be enjoyed from both the living area and the dining room.
The fireplace is the true star of the entire ground floor and was aesthetically enhanced even more by the plasterboard cladding painted in bright red, in stark contrast to the anthracite grey of the load-bearing wall.
Although the fireplace was not to be part of the original project, the owners felt that the discovery of a functioning flue was an opportunity not to be missed, a way of cherishing old traditions in a new context.
– Serena Cafulli, architect
The heated environment
The closed combustion chamber and natural ventilation make it an effective replacement for underfloor heating for the entire ground floor, measuring about 60 square metres altogether.
The heat also goes all the way up to the bedrooms by natural convection, which helps reduce overall heating consumption as well.