Restoring a Palace through Subtractive Architecture

View all 19 Photos

The palaces of the past become the ruins of the present, and the ruins of the present get remodeled into nice homes for the future. The restoration of a 1723 Palazzo in Galatina, Puglia, Italy provides a perfect example of the good that can come from adaptive attitude, where after over 50 years of neglect its interior was converted into a modern loft by the firm Pizzinini Scolari ComunicAzione in 2013. By reading the building’s underlying duality in its original form, divided between a late 18th century lower zone, and a neoclassical upper one, they were able to work with a process of subtraction to ensure that what existed remained and what was added didn’t distract. Scolari and Pizzinini owned the building, so the project was a particularly personal one, bearing in mind all details in crafting suitable interiors. In complying with the duality of the palace’s architecture, the first floor was kept more or less as it was to preserve its traditional aesthetic while the upper floor was converted into a modern loft in line with the neoclassical forms it overtook. This process of addition and subtraction, creation and destruction, is what defines architecture and cannot be taken lightly. The modern loft shows an understanding and respect for this, and through a balance of new accents (such as a marvelous sun roof) and letting the original space show through (such as in the tiling and vaults), it walks the tightrope between appreciating an old space and asserting a new identify with grace. When architects give such a high dedication to making sure the impact of their work is considered from a historic viewpoint, restoration projects such as this one bode well for the future of buildings that have celebrated architecture but lack the credentials for landmark preservation.

Nathaniel Barlam

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

Take me there

  • Boat Rooms on the Fuchun River

    A creatively designed retreat that celebrates an ancient local tradition. Built on the banks of…

  • andBeyond Vira Vira Lodge

    A serene retreat set on a working farm in Chile. Back in the early ‘90s,…

  • Eastwind Hotel & Bar

    A cozy upstate New York retreat in the Catskill Mountains. The brainchild of a group…

  • The Kumaon

    A serene mountain retreat in the Himalayas. Located 1600m above sea level in the Village…

More for you

                array(5) {
  ["post__not_in"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(152638)
  }
  ["tag__not_in"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(16203)
    [1]=>
    int(9208)
  }
  ["posts_per_page"]=>
  int(12)
  ["caller_get_posts"]=>
  int(1)
  ["cat"]=>
  int(6178)
}
            
  • Caldeireiros Houses

    17th-century dwellings become modern apartments. Clínica de Arquitectura’s Caldeireiros Houses project began with the refurbishment…

  • Cerna Voda Mountain Lodge

    A compact cabin that complements its dark cladding with a warm interior. Nestled in a…

  • The Freycinet Lodge Pavilions

    A coastal retreat that immerses guests into nature. Located in a stunning natural landscape in…

  • Sydney Cottage by Panovscott

    A small house in an urban space becomes welcoming cottage linked to nature. The owner…

  • Casa Xólotl

    From a house in disrepair to architectural gem. Located in Mérida, Mexico, Casa Xólotl is…

  • Dancing Light House

    A modern dwelling that celebrates the desert, mountains, and light. Located in Paradise Valley, Arizona,…

  • Villa Monoi

    A dream getaway in Costa Rica. Built right near a beach between Playa Tamarindo and…

  • Trautenberk Microbrewery by ADR

    An old mountain lodge modernized into an elegant retreat. Located in the north-eastern part of…

  • House In Neveklov

    A black wooden house that hides a bright and airy interior. Minimalist and restrained, this…

  • The Mylla House

    A wooden cabin with a creative pinwheel design. Built on the top of a hill…

Close Cart