The ancient beams that span the ceiling of this old granary are a constant reminder of its historic roots. Home to Paolo Tormena, CEO of furniture brand Henge, and his partner Isabella Genovese, the firm’s architect, the building dates back to the 18th century, when the magnificent hills that surround Pieve di Soligo, a small village in northern Italy, served as a backdrop to some of the finest paintings by the Venetian school. Today, the house continues to be a place of culture, good food and art de vivre.
While the architecture here may speak of years gone by, Paolo and Isabella’s sights are set firmly on the future. Founded in 2007, Henge is distinguished by its pursuit of contemporary glamour. Its pieces are big and bold; notable for their use of transformative natural finishes and high-quality craftsmanship. When architect Massimo Castagna, artistic director and designer at Henge, worked with the couple to plan the redevelopment of this 180-square-metre loft, it was just these ideas that were at the forefront of his mind. The artisan skill used to burnish the bronze that surrounds the front door with liver of sulphur – a centuries-old process – and the organic materials chosen, from diamond-patterned parquet flooring to marble and precious stones local to the area, lend this home a sensuality. When sunlight filters through the windows, the surfaces appear to glow.
Completely open-plan, apart from the bedroom and bathroom which are tucked beyond the divide at the end of the living space, this apartment is dominated by two impressive five-metre-long structures. One of these is the kitchen, composed of two monolithic blocks of stone coated in laser-cut cappuccino marble. ‘For us,’ says Paolo, ‘it has an aesthetic value far beyond the functional. It’s like a large, expressive sculpture.’ The other is the couple’s petrified oak ‘K-Table’, designed by Massimo for Henge. ‘It’s a symbol of conviviality,’ explains Paolo, speaking of the love of fine dining and great company that he sees as a distinctly Italian trait. ‘We sit at it when enjoying quiet lunches and large parties,’ he adds. ‘Our house is a sort of modern banqueting hall!’ henge07.com
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration January 2020
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