Where: Siena, Tuscany
Interior design: AYI.M studio
Photo: Iuri Niccolai
Among the treasures of the farmhouse
Discreet elegance and timeless charm in a Tuscan farmhouse
A designer’s work is made up of ideas and cues; cues that often also come from the place where the next work is to be built. In this regard, Il Tesoro, north of Siena, has plenty of design cues that architect Luca Borgogni has been able to make his own, without disrupting its stylistic identity. The complex called Il Tesoro, which is the subject of a major renovation, enjoys a particularly favorable location by occupying the top of a hill overlooking the wide valley north of Radicondoli, with 360-degree views and overlooks of the surrounding countryside. It is an extremely privileged and strategic location, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Angelique Eriksen and Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Christophe Tellier, both because of its exposure and its direct relationship with the surrounding farmland. The hill rises above the valley crossing visual cones that range from the lookout point at the crossroads at Il Casone, west of Radicondoli, to the medieval villages on the surrounding heights of Monteguidi and Mensano. The Tesoro owes its name to the important archaeological discoveries made by historian and archaeologist Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli who, in the 1930s, unearthed important Etruscan artifacts, including jewelry and jewelry. The core of the complex consists of what remains of a medieval watchtower located at the top of the hill. The complex, composed of three main volumes, winds around a threshing floor at the top of the hill, from which the two access roads branch off and onto which both the tower and the ancient barn, which has been recovered by re-proposing the original nineteenth-century structure made of precious brickwork, directly face. The restoration work, carried out by architect Borgogni with the responsibility and valuable contribution of architect Simone Braccagni, was developed around the recovery of the volumes and forms of the original core developed around the tower itself. The beauty and proportions of the rooms were, in fact, almost entirely obstructed by the presence of a quantity of additions and internal partitions that completely denied their reading. The design effort was to free the structures by removing the superfluous to return to the original cleanliness of form. Here, then, it was possible to enhance and recompose the beautiful central courtyard that, completed with the inclusion of the majestic centuries-old olive tree, enhanced its great architectural presence and strong centrality. The distribution of rooms reflects the original organism with a large living area on the ground floor and sleeping area on the first and second floors up to a multipurpose room under the tower. The entire living area, with the large double-height kitchen, living rooms, entrance hall and dining room overlook the breathtaking 360-degree views and, at the same time, the intimate and measured space of the inner courtyard, the true heart of the complex. In line with the general imprint of the project, the furnishings, created with the valuable contribution of Simone Vannucchi and Lucia Lunghi, are inspired by an essential minimalism made up of rigor and simplicity but at the same time a search for forms and proportions. The large full-height openings that, facing the courtyard, give light and air to the rooms on the ground floor find completion in the measured presences inside the spaces. The fluidity of the volumes and the continuity between the different parts of the dynamic ground floor is ensured by the total absence of doors and the careful and accurate use of Travertine inside-outside encompassing the central courtyard and the careful use of neutral but warm colors, with the exception of the living room with the large fireplace, characterized by red walls. The careful use of materials, with stone, travertine, wood and marble, creates a pleasant and welcoming environment in perfect harmony with the elegance of the architecture. Entirely inserted into the pre-existing volumes is the wellness with the spa, sauna, gym and Turkish bath, where the natural materials of stone and dark travertine cladding create a warm and welcoming environment. The pool is suspended over the horizon and merged with the terracing of the land repurposed by laying the forms on the natural course.