This house is one of my favorites to feature: an old home, in this case an old Italian farmhouse, transformed into a modern day home with a new, more efficient, more 21st century layout, with restored and renovated facades but all new mechanical systems.
It’s old and new.
While there was no increase to the existing historic volumes, a series of service rooms in very poor condition were demolished to reveal the building’s original structure. The new home is 5800 square feet on three levels to be used for the social and artistic life of the owners – a film producer and an art collector.
I love the old beams, and the modern crisp white walls; I love the cutouts in the walls to let light into interior spaces. I love the way the rooms flow into one another and on top of one another.
And I love that the farmhouse, via a sandstone arch, is connected to the Pieve (Church) of Santo Stefano in Cennano. The church was once an Etruscan site, evidenced by the many graves, urns and inscriptions unearthed in the area, and once it was a pagan temple, and once again it was a Christian church. Inside the church, the three apses have survived while the interior is now a single nave.
Since the parish declined in the 14th and 15th centuries — and then completely abandoned — the church has been restored to its simple glory. It’s no longer a house of God, but just another part of a spectacular home.
It’s somehow new again.