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Conran and Partners heads to Italian hills

UK-based architects Conran and Partners is set to start work on a masterplan for a community surrounding a spa hotel on a Tuscan hilltop in Italy

The practice, which has offices in London and Brighton, will draw up plans for housing and leisure facilities on the Il Ciocco estate, 40 km north of Lucca.

A hotel on the estate will be refurbished, upgraded and rebranded as the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa by this summer.

The Conran masterplan will provide for a new community on the west-facing 700 ha estate. This will include about 100 houses that will be a mixture of renovated dwellings and new builds.

Conran and Partners director Nigel Lea told AJ: ‘The client is looking for an investor partner for the scheme and has quite a lot of interest.

‘We are just starting to mobilise our team to start on the overall masterplan, which is a great sign of the scheme’s progress.’

The practice is looking at masterplanning work across Europe and beyond, and hopes Italy will provide a source of such projects.

‘Italy feels quite buoyant and is improving since the recent political changes,’ said Lea.

Conran and Partners has previously worked on retail schemes in Milan and elsewhere in northern Italy.

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