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Ar­chi­tect Gio­van­na Cor­ne­lio works in a for­mer chur­ch in Mi­lan’s cen­tre. Once she’s fi­ni­shed her di­vi­ne de­si­gn du­ties, she ta­kes off for the Swiss Alps. An 18th-cen­tu­ry ho­me wi­th se­ven wood-co­ve­red rooms whe­re the souls of de­si­gn dei­ties li­ve on. «At uni­ver­si­ty, I stu­died wi­th Achil­le Ca­sti­glio­ni and lear­ned a tre­men­dous amount», she ex­plai­ned. Spa­ce, light, or­der and an al­ways chan­ging per­spec­ti­ve on Piz Pa­lü’s snowy sum­mi­ts

The moun­tain re­treat has an ice whi­te faça­de li­ke the sum­mi­ts of Piz Pa­lü whi­ch stradd­le the Italian-Swiss bor­der. A blan­ket of snow muf­fles all sound. The ar­chi­tect Gio­van­na Cor­ne­lio li­ves and works in Mi­lan but when she can, she esca­pes the ci­ty to chill out he­re in Up­per En­ga­din in the Swiss Alps. As soon as she ar­ri­ves, she flings open the win­do­ws and brea­thes in the fre­sh, clean air of Ma­du­lain. «It’s the smal­le­st vil­la­ge in the area, so­me 15km from St. Mo­ri­tz», Cor­ne­lio said. «I lo­ve it be­cau­se it’s a pea­ce­ful moun­tain oa­sis wi­th a li­ve­ly so­cial sce­ne. This is my dream ho­me». The sta­te­ly 18th-cen­tu­ry hou­se seems cu­stom-ma­de for ma­gi­cal Ch­rist­mas ce­le­bra­tions due to the snow that starts fal­ling as ear­ly as Sep­tem­ber. Yet Cor­ne­lio cla­ri­fied that «eve­ry sea­son has its own par­ti­cu­lar charm». The ar­chi­tect and her fa­mi­ly are of­ten he­re wi­th their two da­ch­shunds, Ot­to and Die­ci (mea­ning ‘Eight’ and ‘Ten’), al­ways in tow. «It’s ea­sy to get to the hou­se. And it’s the only pla­ce whe­re you can ski wi­th dogs». The hou­se’s se­ven rooms ha­ve par­quet floors, wood pa­nel­ling and ju­st a few ca­re­ful­ly se­lec­ted fur­ni­shings. «I am fa­sci­na­ted by de­si­gn as a means of crea­ting form and func­tion, but if it be­co­mes a trend and an exer­ci­se in sty­le, I’m no lon­ger in­te­re­sted». The­re’s spa­ce, light, or­der and the cha­rac­te­ri­stic tou­ches of so­me true ma­sters. «At uni­ver­si­ty, I stu­died wi­th (ar­chi­tect and de­si­gner) Achil­le Ca­sti­glio­ni and lear­ned a tre­men­dous amount. I was ex­tre­me­ly for­tu­na­te. I al­so lear­ned to ap­pre­cia­te (ar­ti­st and de­si­gner) Bru­no Mu­na­ri’s poetry. Among architects, I con­si­der Le Cor­bu­sier the fi­ne­st. I ad­mi­re him im­men­se­ly as well as Charlotte Per­riand and the fur­ni­tu­re that she de­si­gned». The re­sto­ra­tion took mo­re or less ten mon­ths du­ring whi­ch the hou­se’s va­rious sy­stems we­re com­ple­te­ly re­fur­bi­shed and the rooms re­tur­ned to their ori­gi­nal sta­te. «The year 1652 is in­scri­bed in the stu­be (the ty­pi­cal Al­pi­ne kitchen spa­ce). It’s my fa­vou­ri­te room, a li­ving and di­ning spa­ce whe­re you tru­ly feel as if you’re in the moun­tains». A sen­sa­tion that can only be found at hi­gh al­ti­tu­des and among tho­se who lo­ve clim­bing moun­tains as mu­ch as tea­ring down them. That’s why as soon as Cor­ne­lio

En­ga­din: the spi­rit of the moun­tain is mi­xed wi­th mo­dern pieces of fur­ni­tu­re

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