Mountain High Image Credit: Identity
Mountain High Image Credit: Identity

Mountain High

Claudio Saverino and Tiziano Vudafieri, of Milan- and Shanghai-based design practice Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, talked to identity about the importance of storytelling in the creation of Mountain Stone House, a unique restoration project in the centre of the 16th-century rural settlement of Crana, Italy.

Jennifer Copley

How do you transform a traditional semi-abandoned stone house dating back to the 1500s into a contemporary holiday home? Through the concept of storytelling, according to Claudio Saverino and Tiziano Vudafieri. The Italian design duo believes every one of their projects tells a story. “According to the kind of project, we seek inspiration in the place, its pre-existences and memories,” they explain. “The inhabitant is the main subject and their empathy with the place is the most important part of every project.” Their design process involves building relationships to identify and realize the client’s needs, they explain: “Through architecture and interior design we create and cultivate relationships between people. The project must, therefore, be story-telling, but starting with story-listening.”

Saverino and Vudafieri were invited to restore a dilapidated traditional stone building in the small mountain village of Crane. The village sits in northern Italy’s Val Bregaglia, a valley that follows the river Mera from the Maloja Pass to Lake Como. The architects explain: “Most of the territory of the valley is located in Switzerland and only the last part is Italian; in this part, there is a small rural settlement, the village of Crana, which like many other similar places in the mountain valleys is in a state of semi-neglect.” The first site purchased by the client contained a semi-collapsed rural home alongside a barn and stable. Once work had been co

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