Messner House by noa*
From a distance, this building in the South Tyrolean village of Castelrotto, with its boxy shape and steep gable roof, looks just like any other barn in this picturesque region of Italy. Closer inspection, however, reveals intriguing differences.
This remarkable home is designed by the architects at noa* to challenge the architecture of barns. In place of the usual plaster cladding is a wooden lattice which is wrapped all the way around the outside of the building. This not only acts as a brise soleil and provides privacy for the house itself, which has an unconventional glass curtain wall, but also makes a visual connection to the local building style.
If the exterior is unconventional, then the interior space is positively radical. Instead of traditional floors, the three bedrooms are housed in boxes suspended above the ground floor, which works as a vast open plan living, dining and kitchen space. These boxes are connected via a series of walkways and stairs which accommodate utility areas such as bathrooms and dressing rooms, all in open plan. Inspired by the experience of mountain climbing, the spaces become progressively more private as you ascend, culminating in the top floor which hosts a sauna in a protruding box and a terrace with a jacuzzi. Both offer unobstructed views of the magnificent scenery, as does the bath in the master bedroom, perched on the edge of a platform like an infinity pool.
The decor is a bold mix of industrial style with rustic edges and a hint of luxury. Cue resin floors and exposed flue juxtaposed against wooden walls, artisanal ceramic tiles and a shiny brass kitchen counter. Luxurious drapes frame the floor-to-ceiling windows, adding warmth and a sense of drama; whilst the ever-changing light creates mesmerising patterns as it dances over the filigree patterns cut into the steel staircase.
This unorthodox house may not be very child-friendly, but in its playfulness and spirit of inventiveness it is certainly a child's dream come true.
Take a leaf from the Messner house and combine industrial details with quirky lights. Try the Brubeck wall light from DelightFULL, the Monkey chandelier from Seletti and the Pearl pendant light from 101 Copenhagen.