Sculpting Around Nature
Between the sea and hills of Porto Cervo, in an embrace of nature, La Grintosa Villa is a hidden dwelling, designed to be inhabited throughout the year. It is an architectural promenade of alcoves, passages, patios, green roofs and unique lines. Crisp, recognizable geometric shapes are interwoven with irregular forms carved into the rock and the soft, sinuous corners of the enveloping roofs. Designed by architect Stefania Stera, founder of the Paris-based Stera Architectures practice, the design forges an intricate dialogue with the surrounds using large openings and windows that, with profiles that differ from each other, offer glimpses of the landscape from numerous perspectives. A similar approach is adopted for developing the two levels of the house, following the contours of the land and connecting them via internal and external steps, and for the color palette, with grey plaster façades and flooring and wall cladding in blue-grey sandstone, wood and ceramic in delicate tones created by Stera.
The Sardinian spirit is essential to the villa, an essence embraced whole-heartedly in the interiors and exalted by the central patio overlooking the sea through a hybrid trapezoidal-shaped area that turns this spot into a wonderful open-air living room. In the kitchen, a custom-made high arched opening creates a dynamic link with the exterior that is recalled through the hanging branch above the table. This desire to create a continuous connection with nature is reflected in the original approach to the openings. Even the largest of these – and some are big – blend harmoniously with the surrounds, remaining unobtrusive despite their size. For the doors and windows, the architect worked closely with the Treviso-based Mogs, selecting the Mogs M65 TB stainless steel system that was then painted in different colors depending on the space in which they were installed. The choice of this system was partly driven by the frames being minimally visually invasive, but still providing excellent energy performance. They can be used with low-emission glass, with a wide range of glazing beads and in all possible opening types. The careful elegance and essential nature of the design are critical to ensure the land is the heart of this project, an aspect that is reiterated by the fusion of art and architecture.