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Lou Estela: A Harmonious Blend of Old and New in the Heart of the Italian Alps

Lou Estela 06

As the world evolves, architects continue to find innovative ways to breathe new life into old structures. This is evident in the stunning transformation of an old stone shed in Moiola, a charming village nestled at the foot of the mountains in Piedmont, Italy. The Lou Estela project, designed by Dario Castellino Architetto, showcases the perfect balance between preserving the past and embracing the future, all while taking inspiration from the breathtaking surroundings.

The original structure, a simple and unassuming stone shed, required a complete overhaul to meet the needs of its new inhabitants. The clients sought a minimalist and functional living space, equipped with the essentials: a bedroom, a toilet, and a living room.

In a masterful stroke of architectural ingenuity, Dario Castellino Architetto chose not to erase the past but to build upon it. The extension of the building reaches out organically towards the majestic Italian Alps, creating a seamless connection between the old stone structure and the new wooden addition. This harmonious union is achieved through the use of locally sourced larch wood, prefabricated by a nearby factory, paying homage to the valley’s native materials.

The curved shape of the extension and the offset wooden panels on the facade infuse the structure with movement and dynamism, as if the old and new elements are melding together to create a singular entity. This is further emphasized by the division of spaces, with the sleeping area housed in the original stone structure and the living area occupying the new wooden extension.

The exterior materials are a reflection of the interior design. The bedroom retains the dark, stone finish while the living room is adorned with light wood panels that capture and reflect the sunlight streaming in through the large main window. The connecting area between the two spaces houses a white drywall block containing the toilets, serving as a bridge between the contrasting environments.

The Lou Estela project is a testament to the power of architectural innovation, seamlessly blending old and new elements in a celebration of history, sustainability, and the natural beauty of the Italian Alps. For lovers of interiors and architecture, this project is a shining example of the limitless potential of adaptive reuse and the importance of honoring the past while embracing the future.

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