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Makeover of Switzerland’s smallest village will preserve original wooden floors

Renovations designed to save a Swiss village will retain the original 19th-Century chestnut wood floors.

Corippo is Switzerland’s smallest village with a population of just 16, which is down from 300 in the 19th Century. Only one villager works, while the other 15 are elderly and retired. Many of the village’s 60 stone houses are in a semi-derelict condition after lying empty since the 1950s. It was feared that when the elderly residents pass away, the village could be abandoned.

To preserve Corippo, it is planned to turn some of the empty buildings into hotel rooms. The site has been designated as a historic monument, and architect Fabio Giacomazzi has the job of modernising the interiors without altering the exterior look of the houses. The homes will be painted and new bathrooms installed, but Fabio is determined to preserve the solid wood chestnut floors. He wants guests to enjoy the peace and quiet of the village and stay in accommodation that still looks similar to 19th-Century Corippo.

Although Corripo has no shops, restaurants, internet access, or other amenities, several people have enquired about staying there who appreciate the simple village mountainside environment.

This project highlights the longevity of solid wood flooring. Those who install hardwood flooring in a Cheshire home could be doing something that, like the floors in Corippo, lasts for a century or two. If it becomes scratched or worn, it can be sanded and re-stained to make it look like new.

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