The architect Davide Volpe dug his home out of a disused factory. Layout includes a strange butterfly-wing shape and a 60-metre long corridor lined by bookcases in metal and wooden planks Looking at the garden that surrounds the home of architect Davide Volpe, Mariella and their children Nina and Iago, it is difficult to imagine we are just a stone’s throw from the elite business area of Biella. “I bought part of a disused factory in the former industrial Fila Sport complex, with a strange butterfly-wing layout. I thought about the design of this place for ages and how to manage its shape before I moved onto the planning stage. The first job was to dig out the north-facing wall that had been buried for decades. This revealed a façade made up of layers of material that we have carefully maintained and preserved. This is when our friends started to call it the house I dug out… The biggest challenge was the layout, as the perimeter could not be altered and inside it was a single huge open area with unexpected changes of direction and narrow bits. Choosing a curved shape for the entrance to the sleeping area, located in the narrowest part of the building, meant that distribution of the other rooms occurred naturally. The corridor, almost 60 metres long, is designed as a portico with huge windows that links the interiors with the garden. On the other side, the eye is drawn by the covers of the many books that have accompanied my life, inserted into a suspended bookcase measuring 50 metres in length and built from metal and old wooden planks salvaged from building sites”.