The design for this tourism-oriented residential complex at Polignano is a sensitive and rational contemporary interpretation of characteristic elements of Mediterranean architecture conceived to fit intelligently into the plot’s sloping terrain. The development offers a compositional group of buildings that blend in with the countryside, meticulously succeeding in a basal integration of architecture and landscape as part of an approach that reconciles the complementary operational approaches of construction with interconnected values.
The residential complex spans a number of levels, including basement-level parking. It is configured as a recognizable “compound” of forty-one units ranging in size between 60 and 85 m² – one that flags its high standards of tourism and holiday home comfort. The complex looks like a kind of constructed spur arranged longitudinally along the terrain, following the contours and adopting as its architectural rule the idea of assembling an urban-inspired fabric – similar to typical historic settlements in the region – in which a dialogue is entertained between the need for diversification and unity. This is ultimately a winning and complex dialogue between the individual parts and the whole, an expression of strong connotative power.
The architectural volumes and materials are part of a design philosophy that has opted for the guidelines of simplicity and rarefaction, framed by essential geometries in order to define a configuration-based approach founded upon the concepts of home proximity within the settlement while allowing the distinction of defining elements, in a prism of elementary units that function as a primary generating cell while offering accommodation in an approach that straddles the plot crosswise. Accommodation unit orientation offers differentiated perspective views.
Contiguity is assured by the idea of balance in the qualitative characteristics of the accommodation units, enumerating common elements (balconies, pergola structures, flat-slab terraces and generous window openings) in the arrangement of the accommodation units’ internal and external space. The design is based on architecture at distinct levels, interpolating distributive access links to the accommodation units on the various levels and in the process cutting through the settlement’s compact volumes. It is based on a highly-attractive compositional articulation which, through iteration and variability, makes it possible to pick out accents and structures within the overall framework.
The historic centre of Polignano offers a significant stimulus to consider materials and colours as elements that contribute to a coordinated architectural vision. At this residential settlement, the dialogue has been narrowed down to two meaningful factors: dressed stone and plaster generate distinct sectors along the façades, in a dialogue that conjures up urban forms and visions within an architecture of essentiality and compositional rigour. The dressed stone facing that runs around portions of the façade contributes to the formation of perceptive depth and, as in the historic town centre, takes on a “rock-hewn” identity emphasized by the retaining wall below the complex, which serves as a precious base.
Perspective materiality goes hand-in-hand with the transparency of the glazed parapets on the projecting balconies and balconies in-line with the façade, triggering a flowing relationship between the constituent parts of the architectural design.
Location: Polignano, Bari Province
Architects: Monica Alejandra Mellace
Art Director: Monica Alejandra Mellace, Dario Morelli, Paolo Pastore
Works Management: Giovanni B. Rubino
Structural: Giovanni B. Rubino
Interior Flooring and Covering: Casa Dolce Casa
Wood Flooring: Original Parquet
Reinforced Doors: Dierre
Kitchen and Furniture: Maiullari
Lighting Technology: Simes
Outdoor Flooring and Cladding: FMG – Graniti Fiandre
Retractable Covering System: Corradi
Photography: © Monica Mellace