Variation of modes of use: functions, users, schedules, etc.

Relationship between the ownership and the form of the investment that allows the transformation

Variation of the overall dimensions of the building

Proportional relationship between new spaces and existing spaces

Relationship between the structural adjustments and the existing structure

Relationship between the forms and types of pre-existing materials and those of the new intervention

Relationship between the image of the new and the image of the existing (mimesis / contrast)


Sant'Omobono Terme (BG) 45°48'33"48 N - 09°32'14"28 E


Stefano Spagnolo architetto



Stefano Spagnolo – Acquario pastry

PROJECT - Main Infos

PROJECT: Stefano Spagnolo – Acquario pastry

LOCATION: Sant'Omobono Terme (BG) 45°48'33"48 N - 09°32'14"28 E

YEAR: 2019

ARCHITECT / FIRM: Stefano Spagnolo architetto

BUYER: Acquario S.N.C.

SURFACE: 600 sqm

PRICE: € 1.270.500

The small barn with superimposed hayloft to which, over time, the farmer's living spaces have been aggregated in successive stages, like other traditional rural buildings, was abandoned a long time ago, since it was now surrounded by the contemporary inhabited area and no longer by cultivated fields and pastures that had seen its settlement in a now distant era. Uninhabited by men and animals, marked by degradation and improper mutations of materials that are no longer consistent, it still maintains the charm of its constructive synthesis distilled over the centuries and made with the materials of the territory and the culture of its people. The building was in a precarious state of static stability due to the significant subsidence of the beautiful vaulted brick lowered in the portion of the stable on the ground floor. In the military cadastre of the Habsburg Empire (1818-1829), the building appears isolated near the name of the locality "Piane".

WHAT - Program

TOTAL REPLACEMENT / DISCONTINUITY: The new functional program has completely replaced the original one.

The first operation of the recovery, after the safety measures to avoid the collapse, was the rebuilding of the roof, saving and restoring almost all the original wood, removing the concrete tiles and replacing them with a more consistent stone roof as per tradition. Then the foundations were formed, submerging the entire building and consolidating all the stone walls and intermediate floors. All the long, complex and tiring work was carried out with the aim of safeguarding, revitalising and enhancing a piece of memory, a testimony to the work and origins of the community. The second phase involved the reconstruction of the upstream part where the pastry shop was built and the construction, downstream, towards Via Vittorio Veneto, of the extension with the reception directly at the level of the existing car park.

WHO - Financing

TOTAL CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The investor is the property owner.

The initiative was born from the will of Diego Rodeschini, owner of the "Aquarium", who became the owner of the rural building in 2015. The program includes the new headquarters of the expanded pastry shop and the laboratory.

HOW MUCH - Absolute Dimensions


PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The overall dimensions increase moderately with respect to the pre-existing surface.


PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The overall dimensions increase moderately with respect to the pre-existing volume.

The new intervention frees up the superfetations added over time through the demolition of a smaller body that is rebuilt on the same footprint and height. The extension is arranged on the street front in concrete and glass redefining the relationship with the public space.

HOW MUCH - Relative Dimensions

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: Pre-existing spaces are prevalent with respect to new spaces.

The contemporary architectural language, both in its forms and in its materials, intended to be "at the service" of the recovered historical pre-existence. This is the reason for the choice of a low horizontal body, intended as a "door-wall" facing the entrance, completed by large windows next to the existing stone wall, seeking sobriety and discretion.

HOW - Design Strategy STRUCTURE

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The supporting structure is mainly the original one.

For the pre-existing building, the operations concerning the structural consolidation involved the formation of foundations at the foot of the load-bearing stone walls. The consolidation of the same was done through injections of specific mortar with the function of binder. The roofing structure and almost all the original wooden intermediate floors were confirmed with the sole replacement of the deteriorated parts with chestnut wood from building renovation. As for the extension, the choice fell on a load-bearing wall in concrete on the road and in the insertion between the glazed parts of pillars bearing the metal beams to great light with the aim of freeing the reception room from structural constraints.

HOW - Design Strategy MATERIAL

BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: The materials chosen for the new intervention balance similarities and differences with the existing ones.

In order to dialogue with the essentiality of the materials of the small farmhouse, the choice was made for the hand-polished concrete on fresh and coloured in the mixture with chromatic shades taken from the same stone masonry. The transition portals between the extension and the existing building and the stairs inside the rural building were made of raw iron, a material considered consistent with the material essentials of the design theme. The floors were made of aged chestnut boards of artisan workmanship, while on the ground floor and on the terrace the choice was to use Serena stone consistent with the contours of the historic building.

HOW - Design Strategy IMAGE

BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: The new intervention balances elements of continuity and discontinuity with respect to existing structures.

The result achieved has been constantly guided by the desire to take care of their places, memories and origins. For this purpose, the wise and increasingly rare manual skill of the work of so many people who, with their profession and passion, have become involved in the common goal has been absolutely precious.