Architecture, Space

Ca’ Inua

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A stone and wood dwelling inspired by a mountainous landscape and agrarian architecture.

Anchored to its setting in both concept and design, Ca’ Inua is a modern farmhouse located in Marzabotto, Bologna. The name’s meaning is multi-layered. “Ca’” refers to the toponyms of mountain farmhouses, while “inua” means “the essence of all things” in the Inuit language. Kainua is also the ancient Etrucscan city that stood close to the town of Marzabotto. Italian architecture studio Ciclostile Architettura designed the dwelling and working farm as a home and research studio for the Panem et Circenses art collective. While the building has a timeless design that celebrates the landscape and looks like it has stood in this place for at least a hundred years, it is actually a new construction.

The studio demolished an old farmer’s house and built the new home on the same footprint with the same stone blocks. The house has raw stone walls and also features a barn-like volume completed with charred wood siding. Partly buried, the base and ground floor strengthen the building’s connection to the site, bringing the line of sight closer to the land. The architects reinforced this link with an exposed stone wall that connects the ground floor to the renovated barn. The interiors feature complementing “hard” and “soft” finishes; concrete and mosaic tiles provide balance to light fir wood that covers the floors and walls.

Oriented towards the north, the service areas have small windows. By contrast, the kitchen, living room, and the bedrooms boast large openings to the south. These windows frame the valley and the mountains, welcoming nature inside the house. While currently used as a warehouse, the barn will house accommodations for guests and artists in the future. The studio also installed photovoltaic panels, thick wood fiber insulation, and rainwater collection tanks. Photographs© Fabio Mantovani, Panem et Circenses.

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