This weekend retreat in the Province of Piacenza belongs to a communications specialist who lives and works in Milan and loves to spend the weekends with her partner and beloved dogs. Piacenza is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy on the south bank of the Po River, southeast of Milan. It boasts a great number of historical palaces, often characterised by splendid gardens.
A long-established centre for cereal growing and viticulture, Piacenza has a number of rapidly developing light industries, including the manufacture of chemicals, office furniture, and buttons. Po River is the longest river in Italy, rising in the Monte Viso group of the Cottian Alps on Italy’s western frontier and emptying into the Adriatic Sea in the east after a course of 652 km. The Po forms the boundary between the regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna (south) and Veneto (north).
Built and designed to accommodate up to ten people, the couple often invites and entertains. The homeowner’s interest in biodynamic farming led to cultivating a garden filled with home-grown produce that ends up in glorious and flavour-packed, nutrient-rich, zero-kilometre dishes.
The interior design choices were made to craft rooms filled with references to warmth and relaxation. In the large wood-panelled kitchen, the table is made for entertaining, with guests comfortably seated on First Steps chairs designed by Christophe Pillet.
An especially comfortable Asolo sofa, designed by Antonio Citterio, was chosen for the living room, and paired with the Any Day coffee table by Christophe Pillet, a Bangkok ottoman and Gatsby armchair.
After a drawn-out search for a rustic farmhouse in the area, the homeowners found a piece of land in the perfect location and decided to build from the ground up, entrusting the project to Dutch architect Geert Koster.
The concept here embraces a contemporary take on country stables which, in this rural area is usually one long façade, a typical example of vernacular architecture.
However, although the house embodies clear references to regional traditions, the character of its exteriors and interiors is purely modern.
Two Gatsby armchairs upholstered in a vibrant shade of rust fabric and a Tris side table are placed near the large window that frames the view of the valley.
Ansel sofas upholstered in sophisticated shades of fabric were used to imbue the veranda with elegance. Pico coffee and side tables in different materials and heights provide practical table-top surfaces.
Everything is an exercise in sustainability – from the location and orientation of the building that optimises solar exposure to the choice of materials with outstanding insulating capability, to the geothermal heating and air conditioning system.
The home is clad entirely in kiln-dried vertical natural larch tongue-and-groove siding that, over time, weathers to an attractive silver-grey colour. The façades, windows and doors are set perfectly flush to create a sleek, minimalist look and to be virtually invisible when closed.
A Tessa armchair, with its finely crafted woven backrest and seat, is the owner’s favourite spot for endless hours of outdoor reading.
Conveniently close to the kitchen for outdoor dining on the back courtyard, is a Pico dining table paired with Echoes chairs.
But here in the countryside, a healthy portion of the day is spent outdoors, in the fresh open air. This is why the homeowner was inspired to create actual ‘open-air rooms’ that allow the spaces to be enjoyed all year round.
A pair of Echoes armchairs, placed on the west side of the home make for comfortable viewing as the fields cool down at day’s end and the sun sets over the valley.
key furniture pieces from Flexform