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2012 Award of Excellence - Castiglion del Bosco
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Project Category: Resort and Entertainment

Project Name: Castiglion del Bosco

Project Location: Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Date of Completion: 2008

Landscape Architect: EDSA, Inc. (www.edsaplan.com)

Owner: Brunello Development Group, LLC, 

Massimo Ferragamo and John Severson, Partners

Leonardo Casalini, Project Manager


Encompassing 4,500 acres of countryside in the heart of Brunello winemaking region, the 800 year old Castiglion Del Bosco Estate is one of Tuscany’s largest contiguous estates. In 1996 The Val d’Orcia Artistic, Natural and Cultural Park which encompasses Castiglion del Bosco was developed, designating the area as one of protected natural interest. The initiative focuses on increasing awareness of cultural and environmental heritage in the region, as well as manufacturing and marketing of local products.

In 2004, the year after restoration began on the Estate, the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany in central Italy was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The historical significance and recognitions that the project received in the years leading up to its restoration informed the client and design team of a design solution which included planning concepts and construction techniques practiced over the estates history. It was of utmost importance to understand the value of Castiglion del Bosco and focus on how to design a project that is respectful of its past and enthusiastic about its future.

Overlooking the estate is the Borgo, the soul of Castiglion del Bosco which was unveiled in 2009 after painstaking restorations. Many buildings on the site have been respectfully renovated keeping new construction and footprints on the site to a minimum. In addition to the Borgo Core are twenty 17th and 18th century farmhouses scattered throughout the Estate. Nine of these farmhouses have been transformed into Villas for Club Members.

The current estate produces some of the region’s most celebrated wines, olive oil and grappa. Winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco has been a craft for centuries, and after acclaimed international wine makers took command of the process in 2004, the Estate is yielding modern Brunellos that are attracting critical acclaim. The fundamental goal of winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco is to remain faithful to the land and the characteristics of the grapes. Everyone at the estate has the unique opportunity to help contribute to this goal and participate in all aspects of the wine vinification process, from picking and sorting to bottling and tasting.

All landscape materials on the site were installed by local craftsman in traditional practices. Local materials used in the construction process are Terra Cotta tiles, Wood – for trellis’, local stone used on all of the terraces, walls, and pool decks, and native plants. Invasive plants, wherever located on site, were removed. During the construction process there was an emphasis on conservation and Low Impact Design methodologies. By re-using existing building footings, keeping the majority of site access routes intact, and properly siting all of the new architecture on the property, negative impacts to natural run-off patterns were avoided. Pervious materials for roads and hardscape areas were used in all newly constructed areas.

The environmental benefactors of the site design respected historical hydrology systems including existing lakes and water detention basins, which are used for collecting and slowing the infiltration rate of water run-off.  Built to store and collect rainwater for irrigation on the site Cisterns were buried underground and kept the landscape use of potable water to a minimum. Incorporated into the planning of the Estate were features such as Organic Farming practices, an extensive Composting Program,and Re-vegetation on many of the hillsides. Two traditional but stylish restaurants at Castiglion del Bosco showcase refined and creative Tuscan and Italian cuisine which is grown and hunted on site.

The economic impacts of the project are exhibited in the creation of jobs and a healthy improvement to the local tourism economy. The social and cultural factors that have proved successful at Castiglion del Bosco are teaching local skills and trades thru a variety of educational workshops. Workshops focus on Organic & Sustainable Farming and Gardening practices, Wrought Iron classes, Italian language classes, and a Culinary Program that teaches local and Florentine cuisine.

The Estate features miles of picturesque hiking and biking trails that hug spectacular ridges and meander past streams, waterfalls and hidden historic sites. A unique collaboration with students from an American univeristy program was devised in which they spent time on-site with the landscape architects to map and inventory existing trails as well as establish a trail program for the project. The landscape architects were dedicated to spending as much time as possible on site to ensure that the Owner’s design vision was carried out and brought to fruition. 

Credits:

Architect : ArchFlorence  - Arch. Carlo Ludovico Poccianti

Interior Designer: Hispano Suiza - Teresa Burgisser

Engineer: Viva Engineering SRL - Nino Solazzi

Golf Course Architect: Tom Weiskopf Designs - Tom Weiskopf and Phil Smith

Market Position and Imaging: InterCommunications - Toni Alexander

Peer Review/Landscape Architect : Marco Battaggia

Landscape Contractor/Nursery: Gruppo Matti/Piante Matti - Andrea Matti

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MISSION STATEMENT Leading, educating, and participating in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.
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