Villa San Valerio - Albiate - Italy
One of the finest Lombard-baroque villas incorporates a 1950s intervention by Luigi Caccia Dominioni.
Originally owned and constructed by the Airoldi family in 1640, the villa has undergone many transformations, renovations and additions. In the 19th century the Airoldi family sold the villa to the Caprotti family who oversaw the villa’s most significant intervention by Milanese architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni in the 1950s.
The villa is divided into two parts: the main building which houses the living spaces and an eastern wing that is equipped with service rooms.
Externally the four facades of the main building are virtually identical with a simple yet austere window sequence that’s quite rigid in its symmetry.
There is a sense of compression as the windows become more concentrated toward the central axis to highlight the entrance and the grand hall within.
Supremely situated, the villa enjoys breathtaking views in all directions.
Caccia Dominioni reinvents the baroque space by introducing a new composition that connects major rooms. This composition is a series of intermediary spaces and elaborate doorways that divide and connect these unconventionally shaped areas.
The enfilade of doorways gives you a sense of the light and shade that fills these spaces.
Caccia Dominioni’s architectural contribution sought to redesign and reinterpret the original 18th century interiors. Rather than introduce a clear distinction between old and new, he opted for a slight detachment that created additions without loosing the continuity.
[project selected by Giulia Donati]