Rustico in Gargnano / Lake Garda
best architects 19
single family homes
Gargnano / Italy
An old rustico, or farm building, set on a steep slope in park-like grounds about 300 meters above the west shore of Lake Garda, with a fantastic view, was to be converted into a home with guest tract. The floor area was insufficient, however, so in order to obtain a building permit, the ancillary spaces were set into the slope, underground, and thus do not form part of the building volume. A spectacular infinity pool follows the contours of the cliff. The rustico and the limonaia, or orangery, have been restored with traditional dry stone walls but a double cavity in between, and thus retain an explicitly rough, tactile character. Only a few local masons still master the traditional art of building stone walls, with each stone hewn by hand. The masonry was laid with open joints on the face and mortar on the reverse. The ensemble conveys a warm, genteel yet rustic atmosphere. Landscape and building, nature and artefact: a symbiosis to feel at home in.
The special challenge involved in converting the gem above Lake Garda was the inaccessibility of the property and the associated logistical problem of transporting all the building materials from the main road along the lake via dirt roads and narrow passages to the construction site. (The possibility was even discussed of flying everything up by helicopter to 300 meters in a container).