PETREA by Luca Zanaroli

Reuse of a rural building in the countryside of Salent

Morciano di Leuca / Italie / 2008

The intervention in the countryside of Salento has been aimed by the will of preserving the strong expressive power of this ancient construction. In fact it is a typical example of local rural architecture with dry stonewalls and a proof of the different needs and type of construction existing in the territory. The most ancient part of the building was realized in 18th century, characterized by a truncated cone shape with two steps and a circular plan with dome, and was used as warehouse. The most recent one has a truncated pyramidal shape and a squared plan with barrel vault, used as dwelling by countrymen.

Before the intervention the building was in an advanced state of decay: part of the oven was fallen down and there were moist spots because of infiltration of water. So, in place of the oven has been constructed the new kitchen and the architectural design focused on the restoration, reuse and reorganization of the interiors to overcome the lack of connections between the two parts of the ancient building. In particular the choice of not realizing sharp edges in the old walls and the junction of different existing floors with gently sloping ramps has emphasized the spatial continuity.

The design of details of the construction underlines shapes and materials essentiality, using in particular light and airing, so special and specific in this part of Italy, as fundamental elements of architecture and built space, such as the maintenance of the patina on external walls shows the respect for the history of the building and for what it culturally represents.

Photos by Max Zambelli


Luca Zanaroli was born in Bologna in 1965. After his graduation in Architecture at the University of Florence he worked from 1994 to 2003 as manager of the Area of Planning and Territorial Management in different municipalities near Bologna.

In 2004 he has opened his own design firm and deals with urban development planning and architectural design since then.
He works for both public and private clients in fields of:
“urban development planning”, through masterplans and urban scale designs for new commercial and residential settlements;
“architectural design” of public and private use;
“restoration and renovation” of existing or listed buildings;
“interior design” and “street furniture”.

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