noa* transformed deserted magical barn into contemporary chalet in South Tyrol
Bolzano-based young team of architects & designers noa* network of architecture has completed the renovation of a dilapidated Mid-19th-Century house in the picturesque area of Alpe di Siusi (Bolzano, Italy) in keeping with the South Tyrolean tradition combined with unconventional design features internally.
“Keep tradition in mind, but at the same time move away so as to create an original identity, a new way of living, a different structuring of the domestic space, and to search inspiration from a childhood passed in the mountains. This, in summary, was the challenge faced by noa*. The project needs to be understood in its complex and delicate context. We are talking about South Tyrol, and a project executed at a height of 1100 a.s.l. at the foot of Alpe di Siusi, a part of the Dolomites recognised as a Unesco World Heritage due to its outstanding natural beauty. It was therefore extremely important to respect the parameters of the original structure and the urban planning requirements and regulations of the village. For me, together with Lukas Rungger of the studio, and in this instance ‘his own client’, the project was an opportunity to give a personal footprint to his own property. In this sense there was a move away from the traditional principles of spatial distribution, this being achieved in part by recalling memories of a childhood spent in the mountains. We wanted the project to respect the aesthetics and the urban aspects of the village, a village where wooden barns alternate with plaster-fronted houses destined for farmers and the keeping of cattle. With this in mind, we finished the exterior structure with a ‘coating’ in keeping with tradition: a wooden grid on all 4 sides, just as is used for alpine barns. However, as far as the interior is concerned, I decided to leave tradition behind me, and thereby free the design from any preconceived limitations. In this way I was able to look forward…but also a little back in time to the beautiful years of my childhood. The outcome of the project is a dwelling, having two aspects which confront each other in their style. The exterior represents the traditional alpine location, splendidly immersed in the local topography, whilst the interior boasts the visionary impulse, the surprise of a space freed from the general scheme of things, almost permeable, osmotic, and certainly innovative,” explains architect Stefan Rier, founder of noa*