Decorative Window Screens Adorn a 700-Year-Old Farmhouse
A robust sandstone box with beautifully angled arches, this freshly-modified farmhouse renovation reflects contemporary needs but also draws inspiration from regional design traditions. Aspects of Arabic, Greek and Norman architecture can be found in new decorative elements retrofit into the existing structural framework.
The most prominent accessories are a series of thirty-six water-cut aluminum panels placed around the facade, providing light filtration and visual decor on top of each arch that pierces the exterior walls (some of them up to a few feet thick).
The design of these unique window screen sheets involved a combination of pattern generation and digital testing to see how they would perform with interior and exterior lighting, shadow and shade, but also structural stability and overall rigidity.
Much of the white-painted interior is plain, but intentionally so – the larger volumes and space-defining archways speak for themselves, while a constantly-shifting pattern of light plays over the omnipresent aluminum panels.
The result is neither here nor there – future nor past – but something the spans between. While the materials, patterns and color palette clearly show the place to have modern influences on close inspection, the overall feel is surprisingly timeless. Design by Peter Pichler; photography by Domingo Milella and Victoria Ebner.
“The project embraces a conversion of an existing old house from the 14th century in Puglia, south Italy. The house was part of a so-called “Masseria”, a traditional farmhouse in the countryside of Puglia, on top of a small hill and oriented towards the sea.”
“The old existing house’s most dominant features are the interior arches that span the single rooms on the inside and are continued on the exterior façade. The arches provide light and direct access from each room towards the exterior space. We created a pattern that was applied to 36 water-cut aluminum panels in the facade, used as sun-shading elements, and to prevent incursion. The pattern was developed with parametric techniques to test the structure’s density, which filters the amount of light in the interior space. It gradually changes and goes from an open thin structure to an almost closed surface.”