COVER: Camaldoli Monastery
Time seems to have stopped in the centuries-old Camaldoli Monastery. Immersed in the Tuscan forest, it is an enchanting place that encapsulates everything there is to Italian knowhow and culture. Benedictine monks have lived here peacefully for over a century, and it is now the location of a contemporary designer library which has become an expression of the importance culture heritage. Floating-effect tables and bookcases with minimal lines alternate throughout this underground space which Menichetti+Caldarelli architetti studio has designed with the style of Lago—the all-Italian contemporary design brand. The result is personalized design where moderation and boldness peacefully coexist.
The structural renovation beginning in 2014 involved the Sacred Hermitage and Camaldoli Monastery and the buildings of this large and fascinating compound. The idea was to give new life to the ancient spaces by dusting off their original function. “The Camaldoli monastic community had been thinking of setting up a new library for years” explained Don Alessandro Barban, Prior General of the Camaldoli monastic community. It is surely the ideal place to read, study and think because it a place immersed in silence, where time and space meet and invite us to reflect.
The new contemporary library’s atmosphere calls for concentration, care and the intimacy of learning. The furniture even fits the beauty of this minimal simplicity, in a perfect balance of volumes and lightness, where the common thread is not only strong aesthetics but also a call to the spiritual. The architectural and interior design project has a symbolic value and the volumes have become the expression of the harmony between form and function. “For this project, we wanted pure spaces, with no distractions” explained the architects, “the decoration stimulates a sense of monition and reflection.”
The spaces of the library follow one another in a labyrinth of rooms and passages among vaulted and wooden ceilings and ethereal corridors, while the versatile and flexible furniture is discretely inserted without disturbing the surrounding calm. This creates an atemporal space that seems to be suspended between past and present.
“The essential things are able to outlast trends and epochs” proudly commented Daniele Lago, Ceo &Head of Design of Lago SpA. And Lago’s products are the tangible proof of this because they are able to resonate with various types of architecture and interior design. They contain that uniqueness that can be shaped based on the need while always leaving a mark.