Favara || Italy
This house stands isolated in Favara, not far from Agrigento, looking out onto the shiny Mediterranean in the distance and with the famous Valley of the Temples archaeological park not far off.
The shapes are strictly geometrical with the view and the slope of the land defining many of the architectural choices. For example, the volumes are organised according to a rational plan and elegant principles, seeking compositional clarity. The volumes intersect, creating spaces for scaled down interior-exterior dynamics and focusing on the landscape views. The design centres on the combination of volumes and differences in colour - between the Mediterranean white and full-bodied grey of the walls - producing intersections that create a visual reference scheme and highlights in the composition.
The use of solid walls and unexpected openings allows in light that helps make the spaces seem larger, while also developing the visual relationship with the landscape and the interior-exterior dynamics. The villa rests on a slope, producing a complex relationship between the volumes and the plot, with the lower section becoming a base for the whole villa.
The composition is a rigorous arrangement of sturdy volumes and lighter, almost transparent ones as a result of the interplay between indoor and outside space. The volumes highlight the compositional structure of the villa, projecting into open and covered spaces.
The use of elements suggests a formal approach. For example, the grey vertical chimney that juts out against a compact section of wall is in stark contrast with the horizontal parapet of the overhanging balcony and the roof. The façade that looks out onto the landscape is defined by relationships between different elements (overhangs, thick walls and empty spaces created by the recessed windows) that, as a whole, are visually connected to avoid potentially conflicting combinations.
The lower floor, against the slope, has two bedrooms and a secondary living room. The relationship with the landscape drives the living spaces outwards, with deeply set windows for the bedrooms and a large glazed door for the living room that connects with an outdoor area sheltered by the overhang of the upper floor, extending the room outwards.
The upper floor has a small kitchen with a large living and dining area and a fireplace. The defining trait of the upper floor is the connection between the terrace and the living room. Here, the expansion of the living area places emphasis on the volume - suspended between solid matter and virtual forms - that stretches towards the landscape through the balcony.
This villa combines rigour and decorative momentum. As the façades use different volumes and materials in a very systematic order, the interiors are marked by connections and juxtapositions creating interaction between different elements. For instance, the hues of the indoor walls are softened and there is a touch of colour in the colourful traditional tiles and a combination of solidity and lightness on the internal stairs.
Location: Favara, Agrigento
Client: Dario Cupardo
Gross Floor Area: 140 m2
Architect: Lillo Giglia
Works Management: Lillo Giglia
Contractor: Giorgio Parrino & Lillo Crapanzano
Structural: Pierluigi Patti Ingegnere
Technical Systems: Giorgio Parrino & Lillo Crapanzano
Lighting: Flos, Karmann, Guzzini
Bathroom Fixtures: Ceramica Globo
Flooring: Ariana, Migliorini Wood Project
Construction materials: Weber
Photography: © Salvatore Giglia
Lillo Giglia was born in Agrigento, Sicily, on 17 July 1973 and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of Palermo in 1999.
Since 2003, he has worked both independently and with other architects on numerous residential, interior design, religious, retail, and exhibition projects, as well as restorations in historic town centres. Several of his designs, including Casa a Punta Bianca, the Belmonte Hotel, Casa Bellavia/Principato, Casa Cupardo, and Caffè Vigata, have earned him Italy-wide recognition, garnering numerous positive reviews from critics and the architecture press. He has participated in architectural competitions, workshops, and seminars, and has organized events linked to the world of architecture, including the international workshop Topografia della Forma della Città, held at Chiaramonte Castle in Favara in 2003.
Giglia has also been involved for a number of years in research in connection with courses in architectural and museum design at the Palermo Polytechnic’s Department of Architecture. In 2012, he was invited to exhibit in the Young Italian Architects/Meeting on Contemporary Architecture section of the Italian pavilion at the thirteenth International Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Since 2012, Giglia has worked as an urban design consultant for the government, not only dealing with urban planning but also the drafting of projects in the areas of regional development, strategic planning, and historic town centres.
He has had several papers appear in the quarterly aa, published by the Agrigento Order of Architects, and is a member of the journal’s editorial team.