The Project concerns a grand mansion located in the historic center of the town of Soncino, in the province of Cremona. The recovery and restoration work involved a late 19th/early 20th-century palace, part of an even older building of 18th-century origin.
This 350-square-meter portion was an old spinning mill, including a wide porch and a floor above, used for silk processing and housing for the spinners.
Abandoned for more than 40 years, reduced to a simple warehouse, the building was recovered and converted into a private home. While respecting its unique characteristics, the interventions were conducted in collaboration with the Superintendence of Artistic and Cultural Heritage with the aim of enhancing the characteristics of the pre-existing buildings, intervening in a recognizable and decisive way, with an essential style able to shape a new domestic soul in line with the contemporary and minimalist taste of the homeowners.
A new covered area was established in the large outdoor green area, dividing the building from the rest of the structure, making it independent.
In front of the house an elongated body of water reflects the morphology of the building, restoring and doubling the image of all the arches of the former arcade.A dark natural stone background is visible under the transparent water so as to achieve a reflective effect; the same dark stone was also employed inside the house as in a play of continuity.
Access from the street is through the original oak door, which opens into a hallway area that leads to a second, thermally sealed door, the actual entrance to the house. This doorway provides both privacy and brightness thanks to a geometric play of alternating paneling: full bronze, of clear glass and etched glass. Its rectangular pattern returns in several furnishing elements in the house designed by Giorgio Palù.
Upon entering the dwelling, a series of semicircular steps overcome the slight difference in height and draw a prominent entrance that leads to the two wings of the house. All the pavings on the second floor are black stone, with a dark, irregular texture: this material enhances essentiality by playing in contrast with the white walls and mirrored surfaces.
The dining room is located south and furnished, with a square metal and leather table in the center with chromed steel and extra light crystal chairs, which together with the sideboards and the important ceiling chandelier, were designed by Giorgio Palù for Metalli d'Autore. The area to the north, where the large arches of the portico were located, is occupied by the spacious and bright living area. A wall of leather and mirror-polished steel encloses a portion of it and creates a protected spot, concealing a study area. At the end of the room is an even more intimate space, consisting of a small hallway, a play area for children and a bathroom.
The central sculptural element is a distinctive elliptical scale, a large bronze scenic structure that connects to a suspended glass walkway and provides access to the second floor where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located. (ph. Roland Halbe)