Location Ascona (CH)
Dates Construction 1938 - Renovation 2019
Status Project completed
Photo credits Philipp Obkircher, Román Rey Arias
Project team Mathilde Gudefin & Salomé Wackernagel · M S Studio, Stefano Kwiatowski · Studio tecnico Sagl
→ See also: Cinese • Ext. & Cinese • Mobili
The Casa Cinese is located in Ascona, a former fishing village at the Lago Maggiore. The renovation project for this 100sm house built in the late 1930s has been divided in two phases.
The interior has been remodelled in second phase. A complete renovation was necessary, as the installations had not been renewed since its construction 80 years ago.
Our renovation concept is inspired by the atmosphere of the 1930s and the Bauhaus spirit of this simple and rational architecture. It is also combined with an Asian touch – as the Casa Cinese has been named after Taiwanese guests, and housed in its beginnings a small collection of Asian art.
We opened the volumes in order to offer pleasant and generous spaces, including the family kitchen moved to the garden level and now bathed in natural light. The former main entrance is walled with blue and green glass bricks, and transparencies that let the light flood into the new kitchen.
The new walls that redistribute the space on the ground floor, which was once particularly dark, are also adorned with glass blocks: this repeated transparent pattern gives a glimpse of the next room.
The redefinition of the spaces preserves as much as possible of the original elements; parquet floors, terrazzos, solid oak doors with their frames that have been carefully remounted in the new wall openings.
The concept includes several built-in elements that find their place in the design as sculptural wall elements. This woodwork (using in plywood and solid pine wood) has been conceived and pre-built in our workshop in Madrid. The brass handles are a unique design also created by us especially for the Casa Cinese. Thus, by realizing the bespoke furniture, the project becomes a "total artwork". The colour shart in shades of blue and grey also recall the history of the place and its unchanging landscape - blue mountains, glittering palm trees and the shores of Lake Maggiore.