A HOME FOR TWO SCOTTISH ARTISTS AND THEIR CHILDREN DESIGNED FOR CONNECTING WITH NATURE AND THE SEA
Surrounded by Mediterranean scrub with its heady scents, and the sounds and colors of the sea, which blends with the sky into an endless blue panorama, the site chosen by two Scottish artists for their home is on a small hill between Monopoli and Polignano a Mare on Puglia’s Adriatic coast. Following the client brief, Corsaro Architetti designed a residence to be a refuge, an oasis of peace, and a place for reconnecting with nature. They worked with two key principles: The first was the physical connection with the earth, the Mediterranean landscape, and materials. The second was a metaphysical connection with nature that inspires meditation and reflection. Based on this duality, the studio created architecture that’s firmly rooted in the landscape while also rising above and beyond it with views out towards the sea and horizon.
Starting with a simple rectangular prism, the archetype of Mediterranean architecture, the architects divided the body of the building vertically into two superimposed volumes, both subtracted from a further volume that encloses an internal garden. In the lower section, they created a space in which large floor-to-ceiling windows create a continuity between inside and out – a kind of veranda from where you can enjoy views of the garden and swimming pool, which extends away from the house on its east side. This part of the house, which includes the open space kitchen-living area, is the one that plays the more physical role, with the connection to outdoors maximized through the transparency of the glass walls. The staircase to the upper level is hidden inside an internal garden, a volume of greenery at the north end of the ground-level floor that’s lit from above by a large skylight.
The upper level is more compact, finished in the typical white stucco of Mediterranean homes. The openings, of different sizes, are designed to offer particular views of the natural environment outside, favoring views of the sea, while creating more intimate, private living spaces that encourage reflection upon the inner world.
Outside, the cantilevered upper floor creates an interplay of shadows and volumes. Decorated with fretwork patterns, the structure creates a porticoed area where you can rest in the shade by the pool.
Finally, the architects also focused on sustainability. Highly efficient services guarantee reduced energy consumption, while passive systems, such as the building envelope finished with the dry plaster technique and the use of recycled steel in the structural elements, ensure high environmental compatibility.
Location: Polignano, Italy
Architects: Corsaro Architetti
Area: 320 m2
Main Contractor: Apulia Property Design
Building company: Ganar s.r.l.
Drywall Construction: Knauf
Wiring devices: BTicino
Photography by Dario Miale, courtesy of Corsaro Architetti