Located at the foot of UNESCO World Heritage site Alpe di Siusi in the Italian province of South Tyrol, Messner House represents adaptive reuse at its finest. The project was organized by Italian architecture firm noa* (Network of Architecture), who was adamant about respecting the surrounding area as well as the essence of the original structure that dated back to 1850.
From the exterior of the structure, Messner House appears to mimic the outline of the original barn with a framework supported by high wooden columns. The architects mirrored the traditional building style of the surrounding village, using a stone foundation with a wooden gable roof and wooden trellis. To accommodate more natural light, the entire southern facade is made of glass, with light filtered by an external wooden grid positioned several yards away. The project focuses on minimizing energy consumption and its footprint with Klimahaus B certification and certified timber construction.
The interior design strives to keep local architectural traditions alive by using materials such as wood and stone, while at the same time introducing a contemporary style. Organic colors such as clay and sea-blue are utilized in the floor tiles, and furniture details incorporate brass and steel.
The ground floor spreads out into a common area meant for social and family interaction, while the rest of the house works upward in a vertical fashion, with rooms positioned at different heights in a “hanging boxes” style. This contemporary room division was inspired by the nearby alpine environment, with the interconnecting stairs and hallways of the house working as an artificial mountain path.
As one continues higher toward the top floor of the house, the level of privacy increases. A reading lounge rests just under the highest floor and features an antique majolica stove taken from the original barn structure. The top floor includes a private glass sauna with panoramic views of the Santner Mountains to the south.
Photography by Alex Filz via noa*