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CASA CINESE

– A holiday home on Lake Maggiore –

The Casa Cinese has been built in the late 1930s in Ticino, the Italian eldorado of Switzerland. It has been used as a guest house for international guests, as well as a place to retreat, read and work. At that time it also housed a small collection of Asian art consisting of Japanese prints, Buddhist statues and Chinese vases.

A complete renovation was necessary, as the installations had not been renewed since its construction 80 years ago. Moreover, this long and dark building had only a small kitchenette.

Having converted over the years into a place of reunion for an internationally distributed family, a redefinition of space and distribution was essential, while preserving as much as possible of the original elements; parquet floors, terrazzos, solid oak doors and other fine details in a simple and rational architecture.

Our renovation concept is inspired by the atmosphere of the 1930s and the “Bauhaus” spirit with an Asian touch, while offering pleasant and generous spaces, including the family kitchen moved to the garden level and now bathed in natural light. The old main entrance is walled with blue and green glass bricks, and transparencies that let the light flood into the new kitchen.

The new walls that redistribute the space on the ground floor, which was once particularly dark, are also adorned with glass blocks: this repeated transparent pattern gives a glimpse of the next room.

The new bathrooms on the ground and first floors take up the blue colour of the original shower rooms, with wavy cement tiles, a “Swiss Lake Chinoiserie”.

The bespoke woodwork of the built-in cupboards is decorated with handles in
brass with an exclusive Bauhaus-inspired design. Old photos have made it possible
to find the painted frieze in the rooms. The paintings in shades of blue and grey also recall the history of the place and its unchanging landscape.

The bluish glass hangings as well as the fabric or brass sconces
created by craftsmen for Casa Cinese complete the ensemble, which is meticulously cared for down to the last detail. The blue mountains, the glittering palm trees and the shores of Lake Maggiore in the surrounding area invite you to dream and relax in a new, bright and soothing interior.

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Location ·

Ascona (CH)

Dates ·

Construction 1938 – Renovation 2019

Interior Design ·

Salomé Wackernagel & Mathilde Gudefin

Engineering ·

Stefano Kwiatkowski – Studio tecnico Sagl

Photo credits ·

Philipp Obkircher & Román Rey Arias