Milan’s rawest yet most refined restaurant, Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, is located in a former 1930s sawmill (segheria is Italian for sawmill).
Modern architecture is often the foe of untouched locations steeped with history, but Bergmeisterwolf Architekten seamlessly transformed a dilapidated farmstead in the small town of Sterzing into a stunning home that reflects the ancient architectural sensibilities of the area. A success in both adaptive reuse and siting, the new construction melds beautifully with the surrounding landscape, and provides a stunning escape for its inhabitants year round.
Often when I write about wood, commenters note that it isn’t as durable as other materials. And while that might be true of 2×4 wood frame construction, it isn’t about heavy timber. The most surprising I have ever seen is in Bologna, Italy.
Almost all of the buildings in Bologna have arcades, which protect pedestrians from the elements, not to mention horses then and motor scooters now, and most are now built of brick. (stone is rare up here in northern Italy)
Back in the 13th century, however, they built this arcade in wood. Here it is, eight hundred years later, and the exposed wood of the arcade is still there, still holding up masonry walls above it.
Now it is true that we don’t see a lot of wood of these dimensions in the lumber yard these days, but we have new technologies that can give us pretty much the same thing. I think that holding up a brick building for eight hundred years is pretty impressive.