dubbed ‘built to last,’ rinaldo del nero presents a historical restoration project in morbegno, italy. the work was conceived as an effort to preserve the only remaining heritage building left untouched in a dense residential area marked by sprawling new construction. with its distinct materiality and design elements, the architecture honestly and proudly expresses its rural heritage. the team transforms the old barn into a contemporary dwelling with the addition of a new timber volume which serves to protect the original stonework. as the new is fit onto the old with sharp contrasts, the true architectural history is highlighted.

rinaldo del nero house
images by marcello mariana | @marcellomarianafotografia

rinaldo del nero preserves the original stone construction of the ‘built to last’ house, common throughout northern italy’s alpine region. the natural stone cladding represents the rich heritage of the valtellina valley, located just east of lake como. by favoring preservation over demolition, the team was met with many challenges during the house’s design and construction. working with the natural wall finish in its most authentic form, the historic stone is finished with wood to creating a continuity from existing to new.

rinaldo del nero house

rinaldo del nero and his team completely gut the interior of the ‘built to last’ house, creating a blank slate within the historic shell. the structure is lined with a continuous, insulated layer to ensure the level of comfort expected for a new building. the rough exterior skin now marks a sharp contrast with a soft interior, characterized by natural finishes, highlighted by oak wood furniture pieces and flooring. the house represents a ‘true’ building, built to last over time, and maintaining its function while celebrating the memory of the past.

rinaldo del nero houserinaldo del nero houserinaldo del nero houserinaldo del nero houserinaldo del nero houserinaldo del nero preserves historic 'built to last' house with timber interventionrinaldo del nero preserves historic 'built to last' house with timber interventionrinaldo del nero preserves historic 'built to last' house with timber interventionrinaldo del nero preserves historic 'built to last' house with timber intervention

project info:

project title: built to last house

architecture: rinaldo del nero | @rinaldodelnero

location: morbegno, italy

completion: 2020

photography: marcello mariana | @marcellomarianafotografia