Italy [2008-ongoing]

LPA Collaborators: Giuseppe Postet, Francesco Abodi, Serena Bisceglia, Stéphane Boucher, Carlo Guerrieri, Sara Nussberger, Anna Ceracchi

Photo Credits: LPA


This complex of homes, immersed in a protected forest near the Umbrian city of Todi, is part of a project to renovate an entire nineteenth century village, with the exception of a tower from the 1700s.

The project rotates around the restoration of original constructions, a large main villa, a selection of rural dwellings and a small church, including the redesign of interior spaces and furnishings. Each element was designed in accordance with an approach that has become a trademark of the office’s work, marked by a search for transformability, flexibility and continuity of space. Examples include the doors of wall-mounted cabinetry: fully open they become doors and shutters to close the house from inside, without affecting the purity of the façades. As in so many of Lazzarini Pickering’s projects, the inhabitants become the protagonists of spaces that can be modified to respond to the needs of the moment.

However, the true innovation is to be found in the new constructions. Elegantly inserted alongside the existing, they borrow the signs and materials of tradition, interpreted in a wholly contemporary way. Beginning with the revisitation of the pitched roofs that slide along a central wall used to structure and organise space. Or the perimeter walls, a weave of brick that evokes the filters of haylofts, interrupted by “O”-shaped steel openings used as supports. The walls define private patios, gathered outdoor spaces for seeking refuge or entering into contact with the natural setting, designed as true garden-rooms. The communication between interior and exterior spaces, ever present in the office’s work, occurs here through the woven pattern of bricks screening the glass walls of the houses.

Finally, particular attention must be paid to the area of the park containing the pool. This large body of water recalls the organic form of a lake, subdivided by a geometry of long wooden paths perfect for walking or relaxing. The surrounding terrain, protected by dense vegetation, is home to a series of outdoor rooms for relaxing in maximum privacy.

The project manages to reinvent a flexible vocabulary that fosters the dialogue between traditional and contemporary, easily adapted to a host of different situations.