In the heart of Pantelleria, a group of ancient abandoned dammusi relives in a refitting project that, respecting their ancestral origin, has made them suitable for contemporary, spartan but elegant living.
- Flavio Albanese
- 500 sqm
director of the project Flavio Albanese —
founder & partner
Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of Asastudio. A self-taught man whose training did not follow the more usual academic route, he began to show interest in shapes and design as a very young boy, and he gradually added many strings to his bow in all sectors of architecture and design. He has held courses at the École Polytechinique Fédérale in Lausanne and at the Art Institute in Chicago (1980), at Yale University (1983), at the University of Architecture in Delft (2005), at the University of Florida (2006), at the Fundacion Proa de Buenos Aires (2008) and frequently at the most important Italian universities. He has also held two workshops at the international summer school of the Architecture School in Venice in 2009 and 2010. He was a member of the Confindustria Vicenza committee from 1998 to 2001, the Domus Academy Scientific Committee (2004-2005) and the MIart Committee of Honour (2009 and 2010), director of the Officina del Porto di Palermo (2006-2008), vice president of the Andrea Palladio Architecture Firms International Centre (2011-2015) and president of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza (2010-2016). From 2007 to 2010 he was asked to head Domus, the prestigious international architecture, design and contemporary art magazine. Together with his brother France, he founded Asastudio in Vicenza in 1987, whose projects have appeared in the most important architecture and design magazines. The Neores project was selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and Asastudio took part in Venice's Architecture Biennial in 2004 and 2006. Flavio is an avid reader and bibliophile (his library, which is open to the rest of the firm, contains more than 15,000 volumes) and he is a connoisseur and collector of contemporary art.
partner & executive director
Franco Albanese (born in Vicenza in 1958) has worked in the world of architecture and design since 1976. He graduated from the Architecture School in Venice in 1986 and the year after he founded Asastudio in Vicenza with his brother Flavio. Since then he has been the firm's CEO and Technical Manager, and this role has led him to playing his part in the creation, development and execution of the most important projects. As designer and operations manager he oversaw: the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Padua (1997); “Neores”, the production site and headquarters of Sinv Spa in Schio, Vicenza, (selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2003); the project for the Town Hall of the Municipality of Grumolo delle Abbadesse, Vicenza (1999); “Morimondo 17”, the industrial reconversion of the Sinv spa premises in Milan (2000); the headquarters of Margraf in Chiampo, in the province of Vicenza (2006); and the redevelopment of the “Cava di Mursia” on Pantelleria (2010). He also supervised the design of the Mestre bypass (2004), the “Rocco Forte Verdura Resort” in Sciacca, in Sicily (2005), the expansion of Pantelleria Airport (2006) and the new Rinascente in Palermo (2007). In recent years, he has increasingly concentrated on reconverting urban industrial areas, which has become a key theme of Asastudio's philosophy.
- Images credits
- Aldo Ballo, Asastudio
A contemporary restoration
The group of dammusi in San Vito appeared in the summer of 1979 in poor conditions: semi-abandoned storage houses served as a stable for some livestock and as a support building for agricultural activities.
The restoration was carried out with a spirit of respect together with innovation: the goal was to find an ideal balance between the morphology and the typical structure of the dammuso and an idea of living with minimum comfort requirements.
The Dammusi before refurbishment
The 1981 restoration
The restoration has brought back the old dammusi to a condition of complete habitability.
The vaulted roofs and stucco plaster walls have been redone following the traditional construction techniques.
The dammuso situated higher up, in a dominant position, has been used as a living room: the original window has been extended to the floor allowing to lean out downwards.
The alcove has also been restored, a classical element of Pantelleria houses, meanwhile a complex system of courtyards, terraces, verandas and curtains connects all the small hausing units able to accommodate up to 10 people.
This system of nomadic and widespread hospitality finds an anchor in the contemporary in the choices of furnishings and details, with pieces of contemporary design that bring into the austere spaces of the dammusi some elements of comfort and colour.