Borgo Selvole

Chianti, Italy | 820 m2
Farmhouse transformation
Under construction

Project Information

Borgo Selvole is a poetic transformation of an old abandoned farmhouse complex located atop a Tuscan hill, with striking vistas of the rolling vineyards of the Chianti region of Castelnuovo Berardenga in Italy.

The main design intention for the project was to transform the old dilapidated country house into a warm and harmonious family home cushioned within the idyllic landscape. The undisputed protagonists were nature and history, thus, it was imperative to preserve its identity as a typical Italian medieval hamlet: ‘Borgo’ while blurring the lines between the natural and man-made. The outcome is a respectful renovation that highlights and reinvents traditional elements to recreate a cohesive ensemble encompassing the main villa, stables, barn and the new functions, with newly added glazed openings to welcome the surrounding natural beauty and spectacular Tuscan scenery into the living spaces.

The project's design was inspired by the existing water well at the centre of the property. Conceptually, the element of water symbolizes memory and the cyclical nature of life and has the capacity to connect the past and present. For this reason, the well’s Cartesian axes were extended to create a design grid encompassing the entire site and drawing new pathways connecting the old and new functions. Crafting new visual experiences through walkways, openings, and framed views within the buildings and landscape, established a new hierarchy of spaces capable of bringing this once-dynamic farmhouse back to life.

Borgo Selvole consists of the main villa on two floors, its annexe with the old furnace and stables, an underground ‘taverna’ the old barn, and various outdoor communal spaces. Upon entering the site through the main gate, one ascends through olive groves to the right, where the old barn has been elegantly restored with a beautiful skylight bathing the entire space with natural light. To the left is the old pigsty, now transformed into an outdoor lounge/cinema space with a central fire pit, overlooking the olive groves. The main piazza with the central water well and the main entrance to the villa are next. The villa is divided into two main floors, the ground floor for public use with a sunken living room, lounge space, and spacious kitchen, and the upper floor with all the bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom. The cosy tavern is located underground. The ‘dependance’, attached to the main villa through the kitchen, includes a magnificent dining area glazed on both sides with an adjacent terrace, a large guest bedroom, and a changing room for the adjacent natural pool. The underground level hosts all the mechanical and technical spaces, equipped with energy-efficient technologies for the entire borgo.

Great care was taken in selecting materials to create an aesthetic that is both fresh and authentic. A curated palette of natural materials and colours has been expertly combined to enhance and emphasize the contrast between old and new throughout the house. The interplay of light and shadow, and the use of a range of both rough and refined materials, including limestone, slate, marble, wood, polished concrete, and brass from local quarries, creates a stunning and unexpected interior that exudes beauty, elegance, and warmth while embracing the simplicity and peacefulness of the rural lifestyle.

The project is designed with environmental sustainability in mind, striving to achieve a harmonious relationship with nature and the landscape. To this end, the complex is energy self-sufficient, relying on boreholes for heating and cooling, photovoltaic and solar panels for electricity and warm water, and the collection and reuse of rainwater for irrigation. The use of indigenous plants, trees, and bushes further strengthens the connection between the house and its surroundings, and the natural pool, an example of an aquatic ecosystem, provides a habitat for native flora and fauna, fostering biodiversity and a ‘living and breathing’ quality to the project.

Borgo Selvole remains true to its roots, preserving its unique identity as a place where family and friends can enjoy the romance and tranquillity of an authentic Italian experience. The various outdoor areas allow for year-round use and offer breathtaking views of the rolling landscape, scented with lavender and wisteria.

Borgo Selvole
Location: Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany, Italy
Client: Private
Program: Family House
Status: Under Construction
Size: project: 820 m2, site 8,5 hectares
MCA Principal: Matteo Cainer
MCA Team: Chiara Antonelli, Caterina Cicogniani, Rana Taha
M&E: Studio Intering
Lighting: Fabertechnica
Geometra: Studio tecnico Marcheselli
Construction: Structural works- C.V.G
Tag: #MCA_Casaselvole #MCA_borgoselvole

Chianti, Italy | 820 m2
Farmhouse transformation
Under construction