May 5, 2010
Lissoni designed 18th century mansion on Lake Como
In this 18th century mansion on Lake Como, located in Lombardy, Italy, Piero Lissoni’s contemporary touch creates a dialogue with the historical structure of the building. "I liked the idea of open space. I simply opened the windows and have watched the special light of the lake, it was so clear. It inspired me, so I wanted to bring it inside the house."
The villa had gone through minor remodels over time, most always destroying the beauty of its originality.
"The first thing was to remove everything that was suffocating until the original structure was able to emerge. It took us a year to expose what was hidden: the coffered ceilings covered by soffits, or the original floors in Seminato Lombardo. Then, where there was no historical mosaic, we used a resin of neutral color, "says the architect Lissoni. "Fortunately the client was a ‘patron’ who sought expert artisans in the restoration of churches. Artisans who were able to restore the ceiling frescoes and decorated staircase."
Because of this, they were able to save the staircase’s beautiful balustrade from the early 1900’s, an element of great dramatic impact.
Lissoni also created visual connections; he wanted the interior to give a sense of deep space. The harmony between ancient and modern can be noticed in the bathroom: "The aim was to maintain the original environment, so the problem was solved by inserting a volume, a box that contains the bathroom.”
It was very complex to work with the existing space: "You could not touch anything, so we designed an invisible maze that went from room to room." Very little furniture and lots of glass: "The furniture should be minimal for me," Lissoni continues. "Items must be in harmony with the space. In my project I put the necessary. In a house like this I would not have put much, but what I consider essential is different from the needs of those who inhabit it. I would not even have hung paintings; I suggested getting a couple and leaning them against the wall. "
Please see the photos below. And as always, you can click any image to see a larger version.
Curve armchair designed by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani