Cascina Cavallina outdoors

Bergamo, Italy

This project comes from the desire of the property owners to redevelop the portion of area situated north of the buildings which were designed in order to be a family residence and which belong to the country.

The focus area is bounded to the north by an interesting historic building that is not subject of intervention, to the south by the farm designed for the family, to the west by a green area and to the east by the property’s encircling wall.

On the area there were buildings of no architectural worth: a porch with a metal structure, open to all fronts and planned as stable and a modest crumbling porch made up of pillars, girders and timbers.

The project, carried out today only in part, has lead to the redevelopment of this area through the demolition of the existing buildings, the redefinition of spaces and ways, the construction of a swimming pool and a new lighting.

The project’s generative/commanding principle comes from the building placed north. Both the design of the new flooring and the design of the location and the building unit of the new central porch, that was placed to replace the original metal construction, come from this new building which is made up of steel and wooden pillars and a traditional roof truss with a layer of sheet zinc.

The porch, open to all fronts, is the shady area of the open space, at the same time it serves a play function and it is in the service of the agricultural activity; as a matter of fact in part it will be equipped with a barbecue, tables, chairs and in part it will be used as a storage for agricultural products (hay and cereal).

So, the building delimits to the north a new area that is hard-surfaced with stones and with green fields having in the centre a pond with aquatic and marsh plants.

To the south, between the new porch and the farm, there is a middle-sized overflow swimming pool, having underground technical spaces used for  the lodging of  a water treatment system, as well. These spaces are set on the west-hand side of the pool and they are accessible by means of outdoor stairs. The swimming pool has a basalt stone edge and a white PVC coating. The springboard is made out of teak.

The flooring of all new spaces and ways is made out of grey stone alternating with fields of cobblestones, with the exception of the central porch’s floor made of cement.

The boundary of  the green areas and the flower beds from the paved spaces is articulated and mediated through walls and seats, regular geometric elements made out of grey and basalt stones and provided at the bottom with a lighting that, in contact with the floor, creates light lines along the ways.

The green area’s project takes advantage of luxuriant shapes and colours of perennial herbaceous plants which contrast with the definite shape of stones and grey shades.

Furthermore, the project comprises a new terrace that people can enter from the first flat of the house and that is provided with stairs connecting to the outdoor area. The new building, that is completely detached and independent from the farm, is built with a corten steel framework and with a scaffold made out of wood and reinforced pilling. Parapets are made out of glass sheets supported by corten steel columns.

The planning choices which have been leading this intervention are compatible with the historic context and at the same time suitable for the clearly contemporary and compositive language. As a matter of fact, as the intervention is fit for the conservation of the original elements connoting the context, it doesn’t compromise the legibility, the continuity and the recognizability of the place and its different historic thresholds.

With this work, Massimiliano Gamba wins the Italian Pool Award 2012, award for excellence in design and construction of the pool, presented in the context of the 4th Pool & Spa Expo and International Congress in Bologna.

Project and work supervision

Massimiliano Gamba


Project: 2009

Construction: 2012

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