Relais Masseria Capasa is a sumptuous hotel with stone walls surrounded by beautiful olive trees in Martano, Italy and designed by Paolo Fracasso. The hotel is immersed in the colors and smells of the countryside, with the name ” Capasa ” used because of the location in which it was born, once mainly used to store wine and oil. The historical building dates back to 1746 and the architect restored the property back to its original grandeur. The design embodies a double movement: to accept the daily life and harmonize the perception of environmental space. It communicates with the tradition and the places where the use of an extremely natural stone, with its color and appearance, manages to create figures that evoke softness. It creates comfortable environments to evoke a feeling of “home” and welcomes you with a new light that blends mingling with the stone and creating color and shape so that they live for themselves, thrilling what surrounds them.
Photos: Pecchio Adriano
We just received pictures of the latest contemporary project from architect David Coluzzi DAZ of Sor Duilio, restaurant and fish market in Rome, Italy. The main objective of this establishment was to combine selling fresh fish to retail and restaurant, a unique concept, have a look at the pictures and let us know what you think. Here is a project description from the architect:
The idea is to combine the activity of selling fresh fish to retail and restaurant. The concept is based on the combination of elements that evoke the sea, as in a boat that floats surrounded by sea and fish scales. The ‘cold atmosphere of the fish market is interspersed with wooden elements in the food to make the atmosphere cozy and warm. The restaurant consists of two large rooms, the first is entry is dedicated to retail businesses and cocktail tables with lighting point, the second room features tables with benches covered as in a ship. The story of Sor Duilio is told on the walls thanks to large photographic prints vintage interspersed with backlit displays.
The volumes that emerge from the walls are covered in wood and give the place a scan irregular breaking the rigidity of the pre-existence as elements of a wreck. these elements are inserted into the line of the horizon between sky and sea.
Photos: Courtesy of © Davide Coluzzi
House M2 is situated in Bolzano, Italy designed by Monovolume Architecture + Design as a Klimahouse A which hosts two accommodations on separate floors. Because of his punctuated facade in the north and the east it seems closed to the access road. The plastered basement serves as pedestal for the smaller upper floor, which is covered by cladding sheets. To the garden – towards the south and the west – the house opens because of a generous glass facade. The two flats are protected against strong insolation in summer by overhanging roofs. The ceiling of the basement serves to the upper floor as a roof terrace, whereas on the roof of the upper floor is the photo-voltaic plant. The apartments have a direct access from the underground car park.
A continuous wall, which passes parallel to the exterior walls, separates the night area from the day area, which is turned to the glass facade.
This creates a clear separation in areas with different lighting qualities.
Photos: M&H Photostudio
This beautiful home overlooking the Menorcan Bay connects perfectly between the interior and the landscape of the island, designed by studio Codo a Codo Arquitectura. The Sicilian country house features walls that soar between secular carob, olive and almond trees. Dating back to the early 1800’s, this property features architectural wonders of the rural tradition of Ragusa, in the southeast of the island. Full of history the home was inhabited for centuries by a single family that had a very close relationship with the land and with the people of the area.
The current owner fell in love with the house ten years ago, when he first visited Sicily and slept in what was still a stable. One of the things that fascinated him was its magnificent location, with the Hibleos mountains, succeeding tirelessly over the plateau to go into the sea, a surprise that is not found anywhere else on the island.
Inside, the various rooms were once haystacks, warehouses, stables and accommodation for the lads, shepherds and laborers. The owner wanted the reconstruction to stay close to its roots, a project of the architect Arturo Montanelli, scrupulous with the characteristics of the area, that reuses local and sustainable materials. On the outside, the courtyard is paved with cobbles of limestone, and there is a cistern for collecting rain water located in the center. The home is now like a luminous ship, full of harmony and serenity.
Terrace and swimming pool were projected on the top floor to enjoy the panoramic view of the Bay.
Photos: Courtesy of Codo a Codo Arquitectura
The House in Urgnano, Italy has been designed by Matteo Casari Architetti, built on a small lot within an expanding residential area. The conditions of the project site are interpreted by discordance and none of the facades overlook outside the perimeter. In the typological and stylistic multitude of the context, the volume of a rectangular plan oriented parallel to the main road, reduces the mute relationship with the outside to blocks. The anthracite concrete box, raised a meter and a half off the ground, can be entered only one way: the entrance, helped also by a slight fold of the glass wall that divides the porch. Outside, the only materials that characterize the 3,767 square foot (350 square meters) building are concrete and glass, to which the diaphragm is delegated, not only between inside and outside, but also between the two different interiors of the house and of the porch. The basic rectangle is juxtaposed by the pool rectangle of equal size, the only element not contained in the box.
Photos: Andrea Martiradonna
This incredible project is an historical preservation and extension of a small Saracen trullo, a typical rural building found in the Ostuni region of Italy, with an adjacent structure, a lamia, which remained only part of the perimeter walls. The renovation was undertaken by Luca Zanaroli Architetto with the intention to not only recover the existing buildings, but also take advantage of the possibility of creating an extension so as to triple the existing surface (originally less than 40 square meters) to establish at least four bedrooms.
Slightly recessed and lowered, the new volumes hinge the nearby structures while voids and large windows open the interior to daylight and the outdoors. Continuity between the materials and colors of surfaces smooth the transitions between the old and new. Inside, mortar coats floors and walls to unify the interior and reflect the southern daylight that enters. Minimal furniture and locally crafted objects compliment the qualities of the rustic atmosphere.
Photos: Max Zambelli
Restored with ultimate respect to local tradition, Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, situated in the Sassi area of Matera, a town in Southern Italy is a 9,000-year-old Italian cave dwelling. Literally cut into the volcanic tufa of the Matera hillside, the caves of Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita were originally a stronghold for Italian peasants. Forcibly removed in the 1950s, many of the peasants came back against the government’s wishes. Today, the area has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is attracting curious travelers to its snaking rooftop streets, craggy hillside drop offs, and stone cathedrals.
At Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, great care was put into restoring the 18-room hotel. They were very clever in keeping the integrity of the caves intact by using the original architectural materials from the area, disguising the use of modern technology and maintaining the new design to a minimum. The decor of the rooms is very basic using plain furniture built out of recycled materials, yet keeping the rural historic tradition through colors, textures, scents and even candles identified with the area. Where elements needed to be added to bring in modern amenities, like freestanding Stark baths, were chosen based on their unobtrusive design. Their philosophy was not to betray the ‘soul’ of the building, but to preserve the caves’ rural heritage. Stunning perspectives, original hand-hewn church building blocks, and some dramatic illumination make for magical moments at this extraordinary hotel.
To stay at this sensational boutique hotel, rates start at $131 per night, from here.
Villa Ercolano is nestled high above the ocean in the town of Ercolano, in the province of Naples in Southern Italy, designed by Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors. The villa dates back to the 1970s and had an excellent structural base on which to build. The internal distribution, especially at the ground level, did not need substantial changes, however it had to be updated and relieved. A dark and disharmonious atmosphere existed due to the use of tiles, stonework, dark wood frames, custom-made dark wooden furniture, fabrics and decorations of every kind. Moreover, the interior of the villa did not reflect the exterior, which denoted a typical Mediterranean style with its form and the white stucco of the walls. The main objective of my project was to recreate the harmony between the interior and the exterior. I brightened the ambiance with the use of waxed, white terracotta at the ground floor. At the first floor I chose bleached oak wood, more suitable for the sleeping area, which combined the candour of white with the warmth of wood. The window frames themselves have been bleached and modified to let as much sunlight as possible filter through.
The lighting coming from outside, reflected by the sea, the white of the stucco and of the floors, the pastel-colored linens in the bedrooms, and the deep purple velvet sofas in the living room, are the background for the family’s antique furniture and for the pieces exclusively designed. Selected family furniture, as the armoires and a large dresser, were rediscovered, whitened and finely decorated with gold patina giving the rooms a harmonious retro feeling. The elegance and simplicity of the house can also be found in the bathrooms, where the white predominates in the stone sinks combined with modern polished steel accessories. The choice of the white has given brightness to the terrace, where the sole colored elements are the blue of the swimming pool, the sky and the sea and the dark wood of some furnishings. The white, built-in chaise lounge at the edges of the swimming pool stands out against the surreal landscape of the city of Herculaneum in the background dominated by the imposing Mount Vesuvius.
Photos: Courtesy of Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors
Villa Ferraro, also known as the Hotel “Belsito”, is owned by an old important family from Capri, Italy and presented itself as an old decadent building which lost its Mediterranean character. The garden, even though preserved in its charm, was in an evident state of abandon and deterioration. It extends itself till the big covering roof terrace, which, despite the beautiful view towards Marina Piccola’s bay, was used as a huge deposit for water tanks. Designed by Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors, the main goal was to bring back to life the original character of the building. The villa, now used as a private residence, develops itself on two levels.
At the ground floor there are two living rooms, the dining room, the kitchen and a service apartment. In all the rooms the old vaulted ceilings were restored. For the flooring the architect chose white terracotta treated with wax. Shades of white with accents of color were used for the whole ground floor to give more vivacity and brightness to the environment. The night area is situated on the upper floor, where every room has its own bathroom. On this floor typical ceramic tiles from Capri were chosen to frame and highlight the white terracotta flooring. In the bathrooms there are ceramics which differ in colors and drawings. Old vaulted ceilings were restored on this floor too, cross vaults in the rooms and bathrooms, and barrel vaults in the hallway.
Mediterranean taste was recreated even externally using large typical Capri style columns which predominate the front facade of the villa. On the big covering roof terrace the architect chose to give a more modern accent by using a predominant total white, interrupted by a thin and long water blade, which runs longitudinally through the whole terrace and ends in a big stonework jacuzzi.
The interior design is mainly composed of furniture conceived by the architect with a few worldwide selected pieces such as the big leather trunk, the imposing crystal black chandelier in the hall and the antique Venetian mirror of the late 1700s. To create a warm and cozy atmosphere, the architect used neutral shades for the fabrics (cotton and linen) and furniture, with a few accents of color to confer the chromatic brightness which characterizes the Brazilian clients.
In the garden the Capri style was introduced by using a few Mediterranean elements such as the big central oven, the soft masonry bench placed under a wisteria arbor and the big wrought iron table with a ceramic tile top, designed by the same architect. To recreate the warmth and beauty of the island and to donate a more naturalistic aspect, many different and colorful plants were introduced to compose a beautiful scented garden. In virtue of the importance that the building had in the past, the red Pompeian color of the facade has been re-established as well.
Three hundred ballot boxes turn an ex-industrial space used for carpentry into a spacious and original loft in Florence, Italy designed by b-arch architecture. The property was once a dyeworks in the nineteenth century, a carpenter’s workshop in the fifties, today ‘Box House’ is the residential loft of an architect whose design language and signature style is the fusion of modern and antique. Alessandro Capellaro and his partner Sabrina Bignami of B-arch architecture studio are both interested in the integration of contemporary language into historical contexts.
The architect has the challenge of foreseeing the potential of a space that might look very different from the final project, renovating it in a modern key, and adapting it to modern aesthetics and ways of life that still preserve the charm and essence of the historic atmosphere. As soon as Capellaro saw this space, he knew he wanted to transform the ex-industrial carpentry area into his own living room. “Behind the saws and planers that submerged from the wood, I saw an open space, free from conventions and full of memories.”
His design aimed to free up the space, removing partitions and replacing extant small windows with much larger ones that go all the way up to the vaulted ceiling, in order to create extra-large, bright space. But the memory of the old carpenter’s workshop is not dismissed, but it is indeed evoked in a new, original and fun way through the distinctive furniture which is the true, leading character of the house.
Three hundred wooden boxes – authentic ballot boxes from the 1940s – are arranged in every room, acting as creative boiserie in the dining room, a mobile counter in the kitchen, as a cupboard, couch, desk, and even bed. Sensing the enormous creative potential in these boxes, the architect purchased them en bloc at an auction with the intention of turning them into shelves or real base modules with which to design very personal furniture.
The natural wood tones are also found in the industrial hardwood flooring that paves all environments. The harmonic shades of this material are maintained and matched in relation with other materials used, such as cement which accents soft and natural atmospheres, or iron; originally used as coating in the bathroom.
Even more fascinating is the contrast of the colorful design pieces that architect has surrounded himself with, collected over time, or of the vintage lamps of his own production, paintings and vases. Original Robin Day chairs from the sixties surround the old dining table and “readymade” found objects that come directly from the streets are located at the entrance, such as the operating-room lamp.
In this modern loft in the heart of the historical center of Florence, pieces of personal life relate dialectically with recycled objects in an installation that relates both to collective national memory and to fresh, real life.
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