Truth in architecture is a tricky thing – even fans of ‘architectural honesty’ can find themselves hard-pressed to identify what is ‘real’ versus ‘phony’ in the realm of contemporary (or historical) buildings.

This adaptive reconstruction demonstrates a remarkable balance of approaches – on the one hand, it uses traditional building materials, techniques, scales and shapes, but it also introduces clearly modern elements.

Inspired by the barn-over-stable that sat on the site before it was built, the two-story stone structure maintains a large wooden face that, at a distance, resembles a giant-sized door. Up close, though, everything is too neat – and even from far away, the rectilinear interventions let the viewer know that they are not looking at a purely historical work.

Inside, heavy timber likewise recalls the former structure but modern proportions, simplicity and colors can also be found alongside the wood-and-slate essentials. This remote Italian project was designed by Es Arc Architecture